Google tests live chat with businesses within search results

25 Feb 2015

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Search giant Google is testing a new system that would give users the ability to chat directly with businesses via its search engine.

A Google representative confirmed the tests to TechCrunch, having initially been pointed out by student Matt Gibson via Twitter.

The service incorporates chat into search results via a new link that also informs users whether a business is currently available to speak.

If a company is available, the system can immediately open a chat window via Google Hangouts. The feature is available on both desktop and mobile.

Should the service be rolled out, it should allow users to ask businesses direct questions instantly, such as whether or not they stock a certain product.

Just yesterday, Google launched YouTube for Kids, the company's first ever product built with kids in mind. The media streaming app comes with a host of content and parental controls.

“Your four-year-old may already be a swiping expert, but the app’s design makes it even easier to find Pocoyo or the latest episode of Sesame Street’s The Furchester Hotel,” explained Shimrit Ben-Yair, group product manager at YouTube.

Internet chat image via Shutterstock

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com