Google Is Reportedly Working on a Messaging App with Artificial Intelligence

Image credit: Nyshita talluri via Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Nyshita talluri via Wikimedia Commons

It’s puzzling to see how Google, despite being one of the richest tech companies of the world and having dominance all over the Internet, finds it difficult to match the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! Answers, and Foursquare. The Internet giant tried but failed competing against these online services through Google+, Google knol, Google Buzz, Dodgeball, Google Answers, and Google Wave. Among these, only Google+ continues to exist now but is still miserably far from taking the social media crown from Facebook. If Google’s messaging service were not integrated with Gmail, nobody may have bothered trying to use it. Still, Google shows no signs of giving up. In the messaging front, in particular, the company is reportedly developing a new messaging service packed with artificial intelligence. It is supposed to be a smarter messaging application that does more than messaging.

‘Smarter’ Messaging App

According to reports, Google aims to differentiate their messaging service from the multitude of others by allowing users to engage with chatbots to be able to access information or search the web. It’s an expected strategy for the company responsible for the world’s most popular search engine, capitalizing on the strengths of the Google brand to attract users. In a Wall Street Journal report, Google executives privy to the project said that their goal is to “steer users to specific chatbots, much as its each engine directs users to relevant websites.” Also, it is possible that Google may open the service to third party developers who may want to develop their own buts that will run along with the service.

Image credit: Google via Wikimedia Commons

Google Hangouts icon. Image credit: Google via Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, there are still no clear details as to how smart this new smart messaging service would be. Many tech sites are insinuating that  this artificial intelligence infusion might be used to allow messaging app users to look for information to be shared with the persons they are chatting with. This is something already similarly implemented by many mobile messaging apps. Google, though, might try to enhance the feature by making it faster and more comprehensive, harnessing the resources available at the disposal of the Google search engine. It might appear as a virtual assistant without a messaging app.

Challenging Facebook and Maintaining Google’s Web Search Dominance

This new messaging service is believed to be an effort by Google to maintain its dominance. While it is also an attempt to challenge Facebook’s popular messaging service, it is considered as Google’s strategy to prevent Facebook from ultimately taking Google’s dominance of the Internet. The popularity of social media has been dragging people away from traditional web search since social media sites now can also search and display content from the web. Web users may eventually shift from using the Google search engine to simply searching for online content through their social media accounts–something that will spell disaster for Google.

Google’s chat bot is perceived to be something that is aimed at giving some competition to Facebook M, which is already being tested within Facebook Messenger. Facebook M is like Siri or Cortana within the social media’s messaging app. It automatically scours the web for answers to inquiries and is even assisted by humans to address complicated questions. Google’s chat bot, however, does not appear to have plans of employing human assistance.


Google is said to have been working on this new service for at least a year now. There are no details for the possible release date, though. In fact, Google’s spokespersons refuse to provide any comment on the matter. Google has not been very successful with its messaging services, something it should try working on considering that messaging apps are among the most popular apps on mobile devices. Google Hangouts, the most recent concerted attempt of Google to take a bigger share of the instant messaging market is still far from posing any credible challenge to the likes of Facebook Messenger and Skype.

By John Marino from Pittsburgh, The fine US of A (Googleplex  Uploaded by GrapedApe) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By John Marino from Pittsburgh, The fine US of A (Googleplex Uploaded by GrapedApe) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Even if this new AI-enriched instant messaging service already sounds hapless, Google has to offer something new to try securing its place. Just a little unsolicited suggestion here: Google should make the most of its dominance with the Android operating system. It would be advisable for Google to try limiting what device manufacturers can do to modify Android and alienate Google-branded services from the platform. Even better, Google may want to consider creating a messaging app that could completely replace the standard text messaging apps of smartphones and bring back the Google free text service (that is tied to a Google/Gmail account, does not require a phone number) to convince users to actually consider replacing their standard SMS apps. Not many are really that interested in having AI on their messaging apps. Keyboard text prediction and system-wide operating virtual assistants are more than enough.