(Updated) Google reportedly in talks to buy WhatsApp for close $1 billion

By on April 8, 2013, 12:00 PM

Update: Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s business development head, told AllThingsDigital today that the company is not holding sales talks with Google. Arora declined to comment further.

-- Original story below

Google is reportedly in talks to acquire cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp. According to sources close to the negotiations cited by Digital Trends, talks have been going on over the past four or five weeks, with the team behind WhatsApp supposedly “playing hardball” as they push for an acquisition price close to $1 billion.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard such rumors surrounding the popular messaging platform. Back in December, Facebook was said to be interested in buying WhatsApp, although the going price tag wasn’t publicized in that case. Around the same time Google supposedly approached WhatsApp a first time.

The search giant already owns a number of communications platforms built around a few different services, including Google Talk and Messenger for text, voice and video chats on mobiles. Curiously, last month a new rumor surfaced that the company was looking to bring all these disparate services under one roof with something called Babble, so adding yet another one to the mix would seem to go against those plans.

But Digital Trends contends that the acquisition is “a no-brainer” given the rise of what they call the “messaging app-meets social network” trend. Indeed, apps such as Line have gone from zero to 130 million users in just under two years, while new entrant MessageMe has rocketed from zero to one million users in two weeks.

WhatsApp passed 100 million downloads on Google Play in November and has remained among the top paid apps on Apple’s App Store in 119 countries for quite a while. The company has kept mum on actual download numbers per platform, but recently announced they’re serving 17 billion messages per day (7 billion inbound, 10 billion outbound). That’s up from 1 billion daily messages a year ago and easily bests iMessage’s 2 billion milestone revealed in January, which should give you an idea of the service’s reach.




User Comments: 10

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Guest said:

Why not build on their google talk platform?

treeski treeski said:

Why not build on their google talk platform?

Why did MS not just expand on the Messenger platform? They're picking up the service and the users.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Damn. If they buy it they'll throw it into a big pot along with all their other faltering social apps and stir it up into a hotchpotch mess of unnecessary complicated and in some instances, overpriced bloatware that has the ability to track your every word, move and even know what color underwear you're wearing that day. Google doesn't know the meaning of the word 'privacy' so whatever you say or write will be on record forever (although they'll vehemently deny it). I hope Whatsapp doesn't sell out to them but refusing an offer from Google is tantamount to refusing an offer from The Mob and they could wind up wearing a pair of concrete shoes. I hope it never happens but if it does, I hope I'm wrong.

JC713 JC713 said:

I hope this doesnt become like Sparrow. A great app company bought by Google and just sent to the junkyard... this is odd considering they just announced a change in infrastructure. To a pay by the year basis.

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

This is a no brainer. whats app is great.... they immediately pick up 300 million users in latin america, north america and europe.

Khanonate said:

Damn. If they buy it they'll throw it into a big pot along with all their other faltering social apps and stir it up into a hotchpotch mess of unnecessary complicated and in some instances, overpriced bloatware that has the ability to track your every word, move and even know what color underwear you're wearing that day.

OMG! I hope they don't notice the skidmark!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Google no longer trying to muscle in on Whatsapps' business? That's good news.

Guest said:

I am glad whatsapp played hardball, no they get nothing from Google.

JC713 JC713 said:

With Googles new chat service, there is no need for this purchase.

1 person liked this | lipe123 said:

Damn. If they buy it they'll throw it into a big pot along with all their other faltering social apps and stir it up into a hotchpotch mess of unnecessary complicated and in some instances, overpriced bloatware that has the ability to track your every word, move and even know what color underwear you're wearing that day. Google doesn't know the meaning of the word 'privacy' so whatever you say or write will be on record forever (although they'll vehemently deny it). I hope Whatsapp doesn't sell out to them but refusing an offer from Google is tantamount to refusing an offer from The Mob and they could wind up wearing a pair of concrete shoes. I hope it never happens but if it does, I hope I'm wrong.

Who sais whatsapp is not already doing just that anyways? I'd rather stick with the evil I know who is being watched by everyone already than some unknown company with an unknown track record of user privacy.

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