Google is reported to be developing its own mobile messaging app and is looking to test it in India and other developing markets.

The Economic Times reported today that Google sent its top product manager to India to assess the local messaging app landscape. The app reportedly is in the early stages of development and will be launched next year.

Google lost out to Facebook in a multibillion dollar bid to acquire WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with some 600 million users.
Messaging Apps

Google is trying to make a late entry into the highly congested mobile messaging app space, which besides WhatsApp is dominated by WeChat (mostly China), Messenger (Facebook), SnapChat, Line and Viber.

The Times said the messaging app would be free and would not require users to use their Google login. Google is reportedly considering localising it with Indian language support and voice-to-text messaging.

Analysys Mason estimated that last year 55 per cent of smartphone owners worldwide were active users of IP messaging services. It expects mobile messaging volumes to almost double this year and reach 37.8 trillion messages in 2018.

Ovum predicts that by the end of this year more than two billion people will use mobile messaging apps.