Google could buy WhatsApp for $1 billion

Google could be making a pretty big bet on its messaging future as it’s being reported that the company is in talks with WhatsApp to acquire it for $1 billion. WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging apps in mobile, with 100 million daily active users. With one billion messages per day, and a record 18 billion messages sent on New Years’ Eve, it’s safe to say this thing sits as high as any messaging service can.

The timing is interesting considering rumors regarding a unified chat service under the name “Google Babel” will soon be unveiled. Whether or not this acquisition would have an impact on that particular development remains to be seen, but Google will have plans to move forward either way. Should a deal between the two parties be made it will take a while longer for things to go officially official.

Following that, we probably wouldn’t see the influence of WhatsApp on Google’s own products for months. Google obviously doesn’t need a lesson in UI design for its own Android platform so it’s possible the acquisition has more to do with back-end infrastructure and technology than anything else. Of course, Google doesn’t have a strong messaging presence on the likes of iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone so this acquisition could also be just as much about WhatsApp’s familiarity with those platforms as anything else.

[via Mobile World Live]

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  • Jordan Caviness

    Hell yeah Google buy that $#!T! B 4 Apple does and says they invented messaging!

    • enomele

      That would be funny if they didn’t already have the best messaging solution.

      • Giles Peach

        Except they don’t because it’s locked to Apple products. I would say best = cross platform, reliable & fast, and free. For me, that = What’s App.

        • DYNK

          WhatsApp isn’t free

          • Giles Peach

            It is for me. Somehow or another I’ve got a life time license. I checked one day, and there it was, free of charge. Maybe others do too?

        • phinn

          Yea but although it’s locked it seamlessly transitions to normal text so no one cares. It’s a great design and probably the best thing about iOS (there isn’t much else to impress).

      • David Brand

        how is it “the best” its boring and bland, but then again that is Apples thing isnt it ?

        • phinn

          Um what? He’s right, iMessage is easily the best messaging system there is.

          • David Brand

            Androids default messaging app is great. How different can one app be to another ? You type a message, hit send, its sent, you wait for a response. It takes an iSheep to say its “easily the best” because youve never tried anything else. Its the reason why Apple is losing ground everyday to Android, people are trying Android and realizing its far superior in every way to Apple. They tell their friends and then they tell their friends and so on and so forth. Thats the only way Apple got so big in the first place, and its the way theyre going to slide into mediocrity.

  • bob

    This purchase would make no sense. 99% of these users will just fund another third party app to switch to. If they wanted to be using Google messaging services they would be already. If this purchase happens it will only be for talent acquisition and it won’t be anywhere near a billion dollars. Hundred to two hundred million max.

    • RitishOemraw

      You forget the 104% of the users who will land on the moon as a result of this (See anyone can make up percentages)

      The point to buying whatsapp is that everyone uses it.
      You can make something better, cooler, faster, but if it is a social thing then without a large userbase it is worthless. (Just like how switching from FB to G+ can be hard even when you think G+ is better than fb in every way. The fact that everyone and their cat uses fb makes it worthwhile) Buying Whatsapp gives them a HUGE userbase.
      People can switch, but they won’t unless all their friends switch to the same new medium.
      If it was easy to persuade your friends (and they their friends and so on) than G+ would have grown faster than it did now. The fact is, people don’t just switch as willy nilly as you have them pegged.

      • bob

        These users are the exact sort of users who WILL switch and not because they’re being willy nilly but because they DONT WANT google chat services. If they did they would be on it already. Them and their friends wouldn’t have found a 3rd party to begin with. Will they acquire SOME user base? Ya but it will not be the Lions share of the current base.

        • Abhilash Raj

          Maybe I’m missing the point here. Tomorrow, if there’s news that Google has bought whatsapp, but the application would continue as it is, under the same name, same app in the appstore, , same everything, then why would anyone jump ship just because the ownership changed? Your friends are still on whatsapp; nothings changed for them, then why? :-?

        • DontFeedTheTroll

          yup people hate google services that much that any multiplatform aquistion will go belly up….just like youtube…..o wait

        • enomele

          you certainly think you talk for everyone else dont you? you speak for everyone else like us power users, who won’t buy a phone unless it supports CM10, speak for general smartphone users.

        • RitishOemraw

          Riiiight. 99% of the users all hate Google. That is the reason that a large percentage of those whatsapp users own ANDROID phones, because they are scared of Google.

          Newsflash, Google doesn’t have a good messaging platform that’s why it is not that big, whatsapp does and thats why it IS big.
          Nothing to do with Google owning the platform.
          That is why so many people are excited for Babel; They want the best messaging service (and they believe Babel will deliver). But for now, they are stuck with Whatsapp since it is currently quite good and/or has a lot of users.

          Ofc some users would switch when Google took over, but that is likely to be a very small percentage, just like when Google took over Youtube.

  • blest

    No Google. Stay away… Please

    • Magnus100

      you stay away from here!

      • blest

        Uhhh okay. o_O

  • RitishOemraw

    Personally I just hope they setlle on an agreement:

    Whatsapp users can talk to Google Babel users and vice versa.
    Just like with email (whether you use hotmail, gmail, yahoomail, you can send everyone a message, the details, such as attachement size limits, ui, usability are where competition should happen!

  • moises1204

    this will be big!! i am all for it, that would mean that you can text anyone from anywhere for free, no matter what device they own as long it is compatible with the device the other person uses. GO for it GOOGLE, now let the bashing begin!!

  • Ulysses Martin

    Microsoft bought Skype, Apple has iMessage and Facebook has Facebook Messenger. There aren’t that many suitors with deep pockets left so 1 billion seems a bit high especially when you consider the Babel initiative. At the same time, if you want to ramp up quickly and keep Whatsapp out of a rival’s hands it might make sense to buy it.

  • Sharky

    It would good if Babel had WhatsApp compatibility, so you could read WhatsApp messages on Babel and vice versa. Not sure why Google would pay £1b for the service though.

    • Magnus100

      It’s $1b not £1b, huge difference!

  • Fahim Yaqoob

    they will fucking not!!!! thats super steap, im sorry. Google bought android for much less…..

  • Max

    If this is true, especially if its about talent acquisition, my guess is a significant portion of the $1 billion would be in google stock not cash, and at googles current prices, that isn’t that many shares

  • frans

    The big thing is that whatsapp uses a mobile number as identifier. So thats a whole new ecosystem to connect. Go for it google.

  • selonmoi

    If Google does this, it’s just for the userbase. And it’s a userbase that would be pretty easy to convert. As long as you keep the existing apps in place and allow people to keep talking to all of their existing WhatsApp contacts, you can begin to move them over to start talking with the Google chat/babel/whatever infrastructure.

    People who care about who runs their chat service don’t use WhatsApp.

  • Magnus100

    Exciting. I hope they this into the new messaging app as quickly as possible. I also hope they continue to develop the app. And I hope that they make this available on all platforms.

  • james t

    I think this rumor ties in nicely with the new screenshots of Google’s alleged ‘babel’ …emoticon layout is nearly identical…

  • Montisaquadeis

    Apparently people are forgetting that google already bought out Meebo which was a messaging service

  • phinn

    Honestly Android desperately needs a messaging solution. If you compare it to iMessage on it’s not even close. Unified text and data messaging with emotes, read/unread status, MMS, uses data, etc. Android has a slew of apps for Text, Google Voice, GTalk, Google+ chat, it’s terrible and non-techies don’t understand it nor should they.