Another year, another WhatsApp acquisition rumor.
Digital Trends reports hearing from an inside source that Google has been in talks to buy the hugely popular messaging app for the past few weeks and the current offer is said to be “close to” $1 billion.
WhatsApp is the most popular of a new crop of mobile messaging apps that some say pose a threat to bigger companies like Facebook and Google. The app, which lets users send messages for free across smartphone platforms, launched in 2009 and has tens of millions of users. It’s currently the No. 1 app in Apple’s App Store in dozens of countries, according to data from AppAnnie, and it has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google Play.
WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for Android and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages. First year FREE! ($0.99 USD/year after)
WHY USE WHATSAPP:
? NO HIDDEN COST: Once you and your friends download the application, you can use it to chat as much as you want. Send a million messages a day to your friends for free!
It’s just a billion bucks, why not purchase one of the quickest growing multi-platform message ecosystems in the mobile universe: WhatsApp? That’s what Google has been rumored to be chatting about this week, as an inside source speaking with Digital Trends tells it. This is a story that feeds quite well into the idea that Google is creating their own every-device messaging app system the likes of which would transform their multi-tiered systems into a singular hero.
Both Facebook and Google have been tipped to have approached the folks behind WhatsApp before today, and as they’ve continued to explode in popularity over the past few months, it would appear that they may have reached prime-time for sales. Included in this purchase would be their next-level pricing scheme which has users paying a cool $0.99 a year for a complete tossing of advertisements in-app. If Google were to pick the team up, it could be that WhatsApp itself is kicked in the pants while the technology is folded into Google – no more dollars for you!
Also if this does turn out to be true, Google’s next-generation service might be ready for Google I/O 2013. That is the rumored “Babble” or “Babel.” One way or another, a Google message service that folds all others into itself will be big.
So right here at the dawn of the Facebook Phone and the next wave of Android devices and their messager apps, could it be time for Google to take another swipe? Seems so! Have a peek at the WhatsApp timeline below and get pumped up about the future of the Google-run app universe!
Image courtesy of WhatsApp.