The wide ranging acquisitions seen by tech giants may leave competitors worried about services and products acquired by rivals. When companies were bidding for WhatsApp, Facebook Inc. got the deal, paying billions for the messaging service. That development didn’t go down well with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and now the Mountain View, California-based company is set to launch a similar service.
In an article published by Economic Times, the company is planning to test its new messaging service in India and other emerging markets. This is seen as a move by the company to cover some ground lost to Facebook Inc. in the acquisition of WhatsApp.
Sources close to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have quipped that the service is still in its early stages and is only likely to be launched in 2015.
Google Inc. product manager Nikhyl Singhal was already in India to carry out preliminary research and preparations for the launch of the new service. Singhal will also be visiting some other countries in Asia to carry out feasibility studies on the viability of the service in those places.
It’s also said that the service will be free, unlike WhatsApp that requires users to pay some small annual fee. In order to have a huge effect in India, the company is likely to have the service available in the local language as well. The service is also set to have text-to-voice feature.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has once again chosen India to try out the product after launching Android One in the same country. This is believed to be a strategy to tap into the huge Indian market that doesn’t have a strong buying power for premium gadgets. For a free messaging system, India is an ideal place for a test, particularly if it’s a service geared towards emerging markets.
The company is having a lot of pressure not to let another entry point escape it after losing social media to Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. WhatsApp, which Facebook Inc. acquired for $19 billion after Google proposed only $10 billion, currently has 600 million users with 65 million in India. That’s a good market for a company to try out a similar service that’s absolutely free.
However, analysts believe that it won’t be an easy ride for the owner of the largest search engine. While the company will be working to introduce a new service, WhatsApp will still be growing, making it difficult to overtake or come anywhere close to the leader.
Other messaging apps include Line, Hike, and we WeChat. WhatsApp leads the lot, followed by China’s WeChat then Japan’s Line comes in third.