Google looking to unify chat products to better compete with Facebook and Apple

Google may be clearing up its messaging efforts by unifying them into a single service, called "Babble". The new service, if released, will combine Google Voice, GTalk and a variety of other services into one place, will be unveiled at I/O 2013, Google's annual event. 

Multiple sources spoke to Geek.com and have revealed Google's plans, which will help users easily communicate with others on Google services. Google Talk, Messenger, Drive, Hangout, Voice and Talk for G+ don't interact with each other, creating a daunting situation if you wish to speak to your friends. Services such as iMessage, Facebook Chat and BlackBerry Messenger allow users to communicate with other users on the same device or service, something Google users cannot currently do due to the confusing structure. 

The reason the service don't integrate isn't entirely Google's fault, however. Until recently, they were prevented from sharing data between services, both a blessing and a curse as Google was prevented from using your private data - Google+ friends, private GTalk chats, Voice conversations - in order to target ads, but users are forced to deal with multiple services all offering the same thing. Google recently changed their Privacy Policy, making way for services like Babble. 

Apple's iMessage seamlessly switches between a person's number (on their iPhone) and their email (on their iPad and Mac) in order to send them pictures, text or videos, all in the background. BlackBerry Messenger offers a similar service, but is BlackBerry only. Babble is "being built fresh from the ground up" in order to provide an alternative, rather than being "cobbled together" like Google's current services. According to Geek.com, Google is looking to unify all their services: "You’ll be able to use the same chat window across all of Google’s products with the same features available everywhere." As Google expands into the desktop world (with varying degrees of success), they will be looking to offer software that can communicate across all devices, not just Android or Google+. 

Google is looking to focus in on products, killing off Reader in the process. The official Google blogpost stated that by "focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives." Today's news from Geek.com aligns perfectly with those goals; Babble is expected to be unveiled at Google's I/O conference, which starts May 15th. 

Source: Geek.com | Image via Evolver.fm

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12 Comments

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iron2000 said,
They need a killer service to pump life into G+?

Their "plan" seems to be kill off every product that doesn't drive you to google+ (which no one wants)

That "plan" has always been a failure, google are losing them "seats" since they started it. I have stopped using google search in protest.

Services such as iMessage, Facebook Chat and BlackBerry Messenger allow users to communicate with other users on the same device or service, something Google users cannot currently do due to the confusing structure.

This sentence...just...what does it mean!??!?! Maybe if you removed "Facebook Chat" from the list, the sentence begins to have SOME kind of meaning.

I don't really consider iMessages or BlackBerry Messenger that great. Too locked down to specific platforms sucks for users (although isn't BBM on Android now?). When iMessages was first announced and the whole thing was "get all your messages on your iPad and Mac too!" I thought they meant just that "get all your messages". Nope, just these Apple exclusive iMessages. Lame.

If iMessages were just a cloud based message system that would allow iPhone users to send/receive texts/MMS/SMS/iMessages on anything that they were logged into (Mac, iPad, iPod, iPhone) then THAT would be BAD ASS.

Google should do that on Android. Bring the desktop accessibility that Google Voice has (which is part of its awesomeness) but offer seamless integration with SMS for Android users (for people who want to use their cell phone number).

They really need to integrate SMS/MMS into this. There's no good reason I should be on my computer, and have to pick up my phone to reply to a message sent to me. This should be folded in and accessible via any Google based product.

I agree this is good Idea but I already moved on to using Skype and Facebook as my main way of communicating with people. It is easier and it works on most platforms.

I only hope it will eventually end of on BlackBerry. So far I am quite happy with Skype on Windows 8 Metro App.

It's a great idea, however, considering some services are regional (like voice, which is NA only) how will they handle that? just disable that functionality in the new unified app/service for non-NA users?

The fact that it's taken this long is actually quite silly. Worse, Google Talk has been neglected for so long it's become ridiculous. You can't even send pictures, videos or audio files over the system at all. Not being able to share a file over the service is the main reason I've stayed away from it, even as an avid Android user. Hopefully all of these stupid little inconveniences will disappear now.

So, you compare it to apple and blackberry, but don't mention that the Win Phone and Win8 Messaging apps do this for Messenger, Skype, Facebook, and texting?