The latest Economic Times report revealed that Google is about to launch its own messaging application on the lines of WhatsApp. Google is planning to start testing the said application in India and other emerging markets soon. NIkhyl Singhal, a product management director for Hangouts,Photos,Google+ core & Platform, is scheduled to tour other countries in Asia Pacific to understand local ecosystems in better prospects.
Google failed to buy out WhatsApp, for which it had offered $10 billion, to Facebook which ultimately bought the messaging app for a whopping $19 billion. WhatsApp has 65 million users in India of the 600 million global users. Other applications such as WeChat, Line, Viber and most recent Hike too have a user base reaching towards 15 million in India.
According to sources, Google messaging app is in the earlier stages of development and will most likely come out only in 2015. This app will not utilize your Google login credentials. Plans are going on to add voice-to-text messaging and Indian language support.
Even though the application will be reportedly free, Googlel might be targetting to make money from the application in the same way that Facebook does. Wired advised that Google would try to generate revenue through a new breed of low-bandwidth advertisements. It can also utilize data about users to target ads in other places.”
Messaging applications are popular in emerging markets since they are cheaper than SMS messaging compared to a cellphone wireless provider. Also, the simplicity of the apps (which are generally advertising-free) have been much popular for first-time Internet users in countries like India and China. Google is already trying to get its Android OS on budget-friendly smartphones in these competitive markets, so adding a messaging application is the upcoming step in hooking these users.
With the launch of the Android One phones in India recently, Google is all set to woo the Indian consumer by offering affordable devices, in which there is a close amalgamation of the hardware and software side of things. With more players getting on the Android One platform, if Google could offer its upcoming messenger app in the native bundle, it could reach a lot of people.