After losing WhatsApp to Facebook in a multibillion dollar acquisition bid, Google is planning to launch its own mobile messaging app which the search giant is likely to test in India and other emerging markets, the Economic Times reported.
Last month, Google sent top product manager Nikhyl Singhal to India to do a recce of the messaging app ecosystem in the country as the company looks to catch up on an opportunity it lost to others, according to the report.
The Google messenger is in early stages of development and is likely to be launched in 2015, sources aware of the plans said.
Google reportedly made an offer of over $10 billion to buy Whatsapp, the instant messaging app which was ultimately bought by Facebook for $19 billion in one of the largest technology deals.
Singhal, who is a product management director for Hangouts, Photos, Google+ core & Platform, is also touring other countries in Asia Pacific to understand local ecosystems better.
Unlike other Google products, the messenger will not force users to use their Google login. The company is also considering localising the product by adding Indian language support and voice-to-text messaging. The messenger will also be free to use.