Google, part of Alphabet Inc, is building a new mobile messaging application to better compete with rival services such as those offered by Facebook Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The new service would tap into Google's artificial intelligence know-how, integrating chatbots, or software programs that answer questions, inside a messaging app, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. 

The new app will enable users to text friends or a chatbot, which will search the Web and other sources for information to answer a question.

It is unclear when the service will be launched, or what it will be named, the report said.

Popular messaging apps include Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger services, and Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat, while Google has a service called Hangouts.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)