Google is reportedly building a brand new messaging app that will allows users to chat with friends or message a Google bot for answers to their questions, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The report claims that the new Google messaging app will integrate chatbots, allowing users to ask questions from within the app, receiving answers from the web. Users can ask questions in relation to the news, images, or weather, and a chatbot will respond accordingly. The report also says that Google will likely allow other developers to build chatbots that could integrate with its service.
The project is led by Google veteran Nick Fox, the company’s vice president of communications products. In October, Fox attempted to buy 200 Labs Inc., a startup company specializing in chatbots, but the company declined the offer.
It’s still unclear when the new service would launch, but the report says that Google has been working on the project for at least a year. With this service, it looks like Google is trying to compete directly with Facebook’s ‘M’, an AI-based digital assistant that Facebook is testing inside of its Messenger app.