Google Set To Compete With Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp And SMS As It Introduces ‘Chat’ For Android Users

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Last week Google revealed its plan to roll out a new chat service to replace standard texting service, SMS. The new chat service will be called Chat. Google’s Chat will let Android users use features such as read receipts, GIFs and stickers, full resolution video and pictures, and functioning group texts on top of colorful texts.

The Chat is touted as a killer application as it will be supported by the relatively new communication protocol, Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services (RCS) instead of the conventional Short Message Service (SMS).

Chat messages will be sent with a user’s data plan instead of the SMS plan, so users will be charged for whatever (minimal) data it costs to send a message.

This move comes as a response to match chat services offered by rivals such as Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and Facebook’s Whatsapp.

Note this……. Chat is a service, not a new app

Instead of developing an app that every phone maker has to add to its phones, Google’s Chat technology will come to life inside of Android Messages, and other apps whose developers opt to support it.

 Android Messages will be the default on many (but not all) Android phones.

But Google will need service providers like Econet, Telecel, and Netone for Chat to be a success

One of the salient points is that Chat will be a carrier-based service and not a Google service. This means that for Android users to use Chat, their service provider like Econet, for instance, will have to enable the service on its network. Therefore, Chat’s success hinges on service providers willingness in adopting it.

So, if you cant send Chat messages, know that your service provider has not subscribed to this service.

Chat may not match Facebook’s Messenger or iMessage because of this simple reason

With the growing concern of privacy and security by people characterized by the controversy surrounding Facebook, people may not use Google’s Chat because it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption, a privacy, and security feature that its rivals offer. Ultimately, the service could fail to gain widespread use like its Google Allo 

But privacy and security concerns are revered by Western countries than in Africa so Chat will most probably be a success in Africa than in the western world.




  1. My2Cents

    I do not think it’s a new FB Messenger and Whatsapp or iMessage competitor per se, it’s just a richer format for communication which remains mainly operated by the MNO’s just like regular text messages – just different in implementation but still more MNO sided than Google sided. As a case in point to note is that Apple might also enable the same functionality in the future and they wouldn’t need Google to do so since it’s a universal service. It’s been hyped on the internet as competition to iMessage but really Google won’t release an iMessage competitor because they want to keep their relationships with carriers intact because if they released it the carriers aka MNO’s would feel that one more of their revenue streams is being taken from them…

  2. wokenman

    If they are gonna remove the “cross platform” component ant make it android only it’s gonna be another fail. Apple can make iMessage work because they don’t have the ridiculously fragmented platform that Google does. Just add this to the long list of Goole’s chat and social media fails.

  3. tapiwasam

    this has a greater chance of success mainly because of Android’s market share, so once the big players are in, FOMO will take over and before u know it, SMS will be dead

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