Google Hangouts

Very few people are aware of the fact that Google is reportedly working on a new AI-powered messaging application.

According to reports, the new app will be a lot smarter and more intelligent than what we are used to with the company’s Google Hangouts.

The app will take advantage of the Google’s artificial intelligence technology and provide users with chatbots that will exchange messages with other users just like real people do. You can ask whatever question you have, and the bot will respond.

Alphabet already has an almost similar AI-based tool known as Google Now. This virtual digital assistant can answer any question you ask it, however, the search engine giant seems to have finally realized the need for having such a feature on its messaging platform.

Facebook already has M in Messenger

While Google is still pondering on integrating AI technology into messaging, Facebook is already a step ahead with M, a human assisted digital assistant that integrates AI technology to offer a variety of services to users of the Facebook Messenger app. Apple and Microsoft also boast of almost similar digital assistants, but Facebook chose to incorporate M into its messaging platform, something that Google seems to be in agreement with.

Facebook has more than 700 million users on Messenger, 900+ million on WhatsApp and a whopping 1.5+ billion on the main Facebook social network. These figures are massive and with this hybrid M coming in, it will almost be impossible to distinguish what Messenger offers from what WeChat already offers its Asian user base of over 600 million people.

What Facebook is clearly looking at here is ways of monetizing Messenger and with this M digital assistant; it will reap handsome revenues. The fact that Facebook M is already here is a huge contributor to Google’s intention of building an AI-powered chat app. We might soon see other companies follow suit too.

What about Google Hangouts?

One would be asking why Google would go for building another app yet the company already has Hangouts? Well, it is easy to say that this chat app hasn’t turned out to be the success Google expected despite the fact that it has all the services that even some other top apps such as WhatsApp apparently lack.

Facebook Messenger came in recently, but it has already outshined Google Hangouts regarding users. WhatsApp has no video calls and conferencing services, yet it has more than doubled the active user base of Hangouts, which offers these services. Google thought problems were coming from the Google+ social networking end and moved in to separate the two apps, but still, it has not worked so well.

Just recently, Google introduced the ability of Hangouts users sending invites to non-holders of Google accounts such that they can also chat with them, but still, this hasn’t improved the situation much. In short, Google seems to be finally accepting that Hangouts has failed.

The Hangouts app is heavily associated with Gmail email service, a service that is associated with work. Not so many people would want to see their work contacts every time they are chatting with friends. It is, for this reason, WhatsApp and other apps have topped Google’s Hangouts as they offer better platforms for leisure talk as opposed to Google’s work-based platform. While at work, people have less time to chat hence the less engagement on Google Hangouts. The opposite is true when it comes to leisure apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.