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"The Wall Street Journal" has reported that Google is developing a new messaging app. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Dec 22 – Google, part of Alphabet Inc, is building a new mobile messaging application to better compete with rival services such as those offered by Facebook Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The new service would tap into Google’s artificial intelligence know-how, integrating chatbots, or software programs that answer questions, inside a messaging app, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The new app will enable users to text friends or a chatbot, which will search the web and other sources for information to answer a question.

It is unclear when the service will be launched, or what it will be named, the report said.

Google declined to comment.

Popular messaging apps include Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger services, and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, while Google has a service called Hangouts.

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