Your first thought when you read that Google may be looking into launching its own mobile messaging service to compete with WhatsApp is probably "What about Hangouts?"
The answer, apparently, is that few outside of the Android ecosystem is using Hangouts, perhaps thanks in part to the fact that it requires users to sign in with their Google accounts.
Other messaging services, including WhatsApp and its many rivals around the world, require only a phone number.
But unlike Hangouts Google's new messaging service will reportedly ditch the Google account requirement, according to the Economic Times, a smart move if Google wants to compete.
And boy does Google want to compete
Google actually tried to buy WhatsApp itself back in 2013, but lost the bidding war to Facebook.
Now Google will launch its new messaging service in 2015, the Times said.
It will test the service in emerging markets like India, where the company has reportedly sent Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal to do recon on the messaging app ecosystem.