Rumor: Google to unify chat under "Babble" brand
As part of its “spring cleaning," Google recently announced it was killing off Google Reader much to the chagrin of the service’s rabid cult-like following of news nerds (I proudly count myself among the spited). But the company may be looking to clean house even further by stuffing its many many communication services into a new single platform.
According to a report on Geek.com citing "numerous sources," Google will bundle all of its communication features under one brand: Babble. Over the past decade Google has created numerous, sometimes overlapping communication services including Google Talk, Hangouts, and Voice (not to mention the stillborn Wave and Buzz). Babble would allow users to communicate across numerous devices and within various Google services including Gmail, Google+, and even collaborations in Drive.
One chat platform to rule them all
This rumored chat singularity would greatly simplify the digital lives of Android and Google users, and could serve as an intimidating competitor to the Facebooks, Skypes, BBMs, and iMessengers of the world.
Google has made recent moves to wall off its chat/talk ecosystem. Most of the company's communication services are built on top of the open protocol, XMPP (formerly "Jabber”), however Google has started manipulating its architecture to block non-native XMPP requests. What does that all mean? Google wants to control how you use its services, so there would be no integration with other non-Google communication services.
The new service would not only be a wonderful new avenue for Android users to avoid texting fees, but would also allow them to communicate with friends regardless if they are on their laptop, tablet, phone, or simply carrying the internet around on their face. Babble would boast a wide reach across platforms and services that other chat/talk venues would find difficult to compete with. In addition to simplifying Google's roster of services, it might manage to kill off some more walled-in products. Why would you stick with iMessage when so many more of your people are Androiding.
Babble is expected to be unveiled at this year’s Google I/O conference in mid-May.