With few non-Android users using Hangouts to talk to friends, Google is reportedly planning to launch a new WhatsApp competitor.
Google’s new messaging service will abandon the requirement to have a Google Account, according to the Economic Times. This would put it on a more equal footing with other messaging services. WhatsApp, for example, only requires a phone number.
The messenger from Google will reportedly launch in 2015. It will be tested in emerging markets, such as India, initially and may be rolled out in other territories depending on the reception it gets. Google has apparently sent Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal to India to do some research on the messaging app ecosystem.
Google missed the initial surge of social messengers, but has been trying to play catch-up. The company reportedly tried to purchase WhatsApp back in 2013, but ultimately lost the bidding war to Facebook. With no other worthy messenger app on the market, Google is set to take matters into its own hands.