Yesterday, rumors began to propagate regarding a possible sale of WhatsApp to Google. The popular messaging service was said to be on the table for a $1 billion deal, a worthy price tag for a service that handles more than a billion transactions (messages sent/received) per day. We imagined Google’s interest for that price tag would be justified by recent developments to bring Babel, Google’s rumored unified chat service, to devices everywhere. The timing didn’t seem to fit, though, and that had us a little cautious to accept the rumor at 100% face value.
Well, it looks like we have another very good reason not to hold onto hope that such a deal is taking place. WhatsApp’s head of business development Neeraj Arora flat-out denied any talks were taking place with Google. It’s different from a general non-comment in that Arora attached his name to a concrete stance. Unless he doesn’t care about being labeled as a liar (which I doubt he does when it comes to unfounded rumors) there doesn’t appear to be much to challenge.
Still, our eyes remain fixated on WhatsApp and its future plans. This isn’t the first time the company has been rumored to be in talks to sell, with Facebook being a previously rumored customer. That particular deal was said to be “factually inaccurate,” meaning there is likely to be something — anything — going on in the financial meetings taking place inside those Mountain View conference rooms.
WhatsApp might have more to talk about next week as its CEO Jan Koum will be speaking at the Dive Into Mobile conference. We’ll be tuning in to see if the head honcho of the company has anything different to say than Arora did today.