Whether you’re on iOS, Android or BlackBerry, there are an abundance of messaging applications to choose from. Kik, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat — the list goes on and on, but one colossal competitor is reportedly looking to step into the game. The Economic Times revealed on Friday that Google is planning to launch a dedicated chat app of its own in the near future.
According to the report, Google’s new app will be entirely separate from Hangouts. Unlike most of the company’s other products, it won’t even require a Google login. It’s going to be entirely free to use and is expected to launch in India “and other emerging markets” in 2015.
Those emerging markets are becoming increasingly important to Google — earlier this year, Google unveiled Android One, an attempt to capitalize on the untapped consumer base in India. Google senior VP Sundar Pichai has stated in the past that Google would be looking to launch more products in India in the future as well, adding credence to the report.
There is a chance that this is a response to the loss of WhatsApp at the beginning of the year. Facebook ended up outbidding Google to the tune of $16 billion for the popular messaging platform, leaving Google in the same position it has been in for years: unable to infiltrate the social networking scene.
“Google would agree that it missed social and missed social on mobile. But then Facebook had to buy WhatsApp and Instagram for the same reason,” Benedict Evans told The Economic Times.
If the app is a success, there’s no reason to doubt it will make its way West. Google+ might have been a misfire, but this new app could give Google a fighting chance at staying relevant in a very crowded field.