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Rumour: Google negotiating $ 1 billion purchase of WhatsApp

Messaging app WhatsApp is in the negotiating phase over prices with Google in what could be Google?s next billion dollar acquisition, according to an inside source.

While the deal started four or five weeks ago, we've been told that WhatsApp is ?playing hardball? and jockeying for a higher acquisition price, which currently is ?close to? $1 billion right now.

We?ve suspected for some time now that a messaging app would be the next billion dollar acquisition deal following Facebook?s Instagram buy-out last year. 2012 was the year for photo-sharing apps, which you know everything about by now. So, 2013 has been dominating by the messaging app-meets social network market.

There are rumors that Google Babble will combine Google?s disparate communication services under one roof, but the platform still needs to do something to innovate in this space; mobile messaging has been taken over by smaller apps and Facebook has made a major push as well. Google hasn?t given an answer to this competition. Even Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal confessed to GigaOM in June of last year that ?We have done an incredibly poor job of servicing our users here.? Messaging is a huge, gaping hole in Google?s mobile strategy.

Communication services are the pillar to any connected device; knowing this, if Google wants to be taken seriously on mobile, it?ll need a standout like WhatsApp to take under its wing, and it needs to work fast.

By all regards, the acquisition is a no-brainer. Apps like LINE, WeChat, Nimbuzz, Tango, KakaoTalk, and of course WhatsApp, are making a splash on mobile (and as social apps) in record time. LINE has gone from zero to 130 million users in just under two years. Even new entrant MessageMe has rocketed from zero to one million users in just 12 days.

Google can?t afford the time to rebrand and rebuild a competitive messaging app at the risk of entering the game too late ? or, it needs to be able to work off the platform WhatsApp has already established and use this technology (and sensically, the user base) to fill out the purported Babble.

Also justifying the rumors is the fact that Google has approached WhatsApp before (as has Facebook). Look at it this way: WhatsApp is consistently the number one paid app in more than 100 countries with an enviable user base size spread throughout more than 100 countries and 750 mobile networks. To give you an idea about WhatsApp?s scale, on New Years Eve 2012 alone WhatsApp saw a record 18 billion messages processed in a day.

But more importantly, WhatsApp has a proven monetization scheme. Its yearly but nominal $0.99 subscription fee keeps the service ad-free. Behind the scenes however, WhatsApp also generates revenue through profitable partnerships with international telecommunications companies. For instance WhatsApp?s monthly local plan in Hong Kong with mobile operator 3 HK costs just $8HK ($1.03 USD) and an international package will run for $48HK ($6.18 USD) per day. And whatever Whatsapp is doing is working: The app has even had a direct hand in declining SMS usage around the world.

WhatsApp has remained mum about its revenue, but our source says that WhatsApp may have a ballpark of $100 million in yearly revenue ? we?re working on corroborating that detail.

Source: Digital Trends

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Rumour: Google negotiating $ 1 billion purchase of WhatsApp

And what makes this better than something like trillian that does the same thing PLUS connects to pretty much every other social networking product AS WELL?

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And what makes this better than something like trillian that does the same thing PLUS connects to pretty much every other social networking product AS WELL?

The fact that almost everybody has it, unlike Trillian? Now, if only it could make calls and let those greedy operators rot in hell...

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Whatsapp it's just another messaging app... with the difference that the username is your phone number, I never find out how come it became so popular.

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At least Whatsapp uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol (albeit customized) so it could be integrated with Google's current chat services without too much re-engineering.

Anyway the current state of all these chat services is ridiculous. Imagine if email worked the same way: different providers using different incompatible protocols and not being able to send mails to people that had an account on a different mail service.

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This purchase makes no sense, except to block whatsapp from being on other platforms, google already has their own messaging service that does the same as this crappy app. Good thing no one uses it over here. Honestly most people here st SMS, most have Eire free SMS' or their so cheap it doesn't matter and you always now the other person has that, instead of using, whatsapp, kik, and all the other "free" messengers.

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The fact that almost everybody has it, unlike Trillian?

I'd never heard of it til today. No one I know has it. Maybe is an American thing.

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Whatsapp it's just another messaging app... with the difference that the username is your phone number, I never find out how come it became so popular.

Because it was simple to use and also was lucky with getting most of the users first. There are kids that send dozens of thousands SMSs every month and that app saves them a lot of money.

I'd never heard of it til today. No one I know has it. Maybe is an American thing.

You probably have decent mobile phone contracts in your country then. Many countries had contracts where in order to send many messages you had to pay for many minutes as well where most kids nowadays only use messages, thousands and thousands of messages that often requires quite expensive contracts.

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The fact that almost everybody has it, unlike Trillian? Now, if only it could make calls and let those greedy operators rot in hell...

I don't have it, till I read this article I never heard of it before.

I say sell now before google change their mind and buy windows live messenger.

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This purchase makes no sense, except to block whatsapp from being on other platforms, google already has their own messaging service that does the same as this crappy app.

If they managed to integrate Whatsapp into all their other services they could suck every Whatsapp user into the Google ecosystem. Eg. if you have seen LINE you might have noticed that it has implemented sort of a message wall (like a simplified Facebook wall). Google could take the same kind of approach with Whatsapp but integrating the Google+ wall in there.

Then the purchase might (maybe) make sense.

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I don't have it, till I read this article I never heard of it before.

I say sell now before google change their mind and buy windows live messenger.

I looked at the O2 UK website and indeed in your country you get unlimited messages with almost every contract, that's very likely the reason you never heard of it. When you pay 20 cents for every message and you send thousands you quickly start to look to alternatives.

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At least Whatsapp uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol (albeit customized) so it could be integrated with Google's current chat services without too much re-engineering.

Anyway the current state of all these chat services is ridiculous. Imagine if email worked the same way: different providers using different incompatible protocols and not being able to send mails to people that had an account on a different mail service.

Ye, i totally agree with you. Having so many messenger apps that can not communicate with each other is just ridiculous.

Today SMS is basically the only service that can connect you with any phone in the world without installing anything but the problem is that it cost money and people use SMS less and less (if at all). Blackberry has it's own messengers, iOS has it's own messengers, Google has it's own messengers, Facebook has it's own messengers and that's before even speaking about other apps that do this.

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I don't have it, till I read this article I never heard of it before.

I say sell now before google change their mind and buy windows live messenger.

I actually used it for almost few years long before the crisis. Back then they had no own account. So it was just a polygamy client for ICQ, MSN, Jabber etc, like Miranda. Since then popularity dived down to almost zero.

I was saying story of WLM before. MS bough Skype mainly because of Eastern Europe, where WLM had 0% of userbase, while Skype managed to beat ICQ, yet was also very popular on west.

Google could buy WhatsApp for its userbase, like MS did with Skype. But that userbase mainly come from Apple's camp. App has very low popularity amond Android users. At least here, in Russia. It's easier, faster and cheaper just to make a quick call. For extensive chatting modern teens prefer VK messengers. But nowadays instant messaging is not that popular like it was back in mid 00's.

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Only tried it the once and didn't go back to it, makes me glad that I didn't hearing this.

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I use whatsapp on my Lumia, great messaging app bugs aside

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Whatsapp is awesome!

Im from the UK but I work offshore on oil rigs - no phone service there. But there is wifi, so now I can text home since all my family has whatsapp :)

Up until whatsapp started getting popular we had to queue to use the phones.

I also travel a lot for work, texting from abroad on a UK contract is extortionate. Sometimes ?1.50 a text.

Now I can just use whatsapp! (aslong as I have wifi)

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This purchase makes no sense, except to block whatsapp from being on other platforms, google already has their own messaging service that does the same as this crappy app. Good thing no one uses it over here. Honestly most people here st SMS, most have Eire free SMS' or their so cheap it doesn't matter and you always now the other person has that, instead of using, whatsapp, kik, and all the other "free" messengers.

A crappy app? It's used by millions of people, most of whom find it very useful. I mainly use it for the group messaging feature and being able to send pictures and videos easily. Most of my friends don't have MMS and there's nothing preventing me from switching between WhatsApp and SMS. If you don't like WhatsApp, then that's fine... but there's no reason to call it crappy.

I think Google wants to tap into WhatsApp's large user base and I fear that they'll stop development of the WP and maybe even BB versions. If they stop developing the iOS version, then they'll be shooting themselves in the foot because a large chunk of WhatsApp users use it.

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I think Google wants to tap into WhatsApp's large user base and I fear that they'll stop development of the WP and maybe even BB versions. If they stop developing the iOS version, then they'll be shooting themselves in the foot because a large chunk of WhatsApp users use it.

I don't think they would stop developing those versions, at least certainly not the iOS one.

For other services like maps or mail they can affort treating other platforms like second rate citizens but not for a messaging client when precisely the success or failure of that kind of platform is entirely dependant on the number of users.

Then again they might do what they are doing now with GTalk: use the standard XMPP protocol allowing any third party client to connect to the service... which IMO would be even better than releasing Whatsapp for every OS.

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And what makes this better than something like trillian that does the same thing PLUS connects to pretty much every other social networking product AS WELL?

As a fan/user of Trillian, I honestly don't see the different between the two apps, aside from userbase.

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The whole benefit of using WhatsApp for alot of people is that it's cross-platform. We use it extensively to hold group chats between multiple people on multiple different platforms.

The way Google has been acting lately I wouldn't be surprised if they bought it and killed off the non-android versions.

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First off, how the hell is it worth 1 Billion. Second WTF.

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Funny thing, I was thinking of this just this morning. It's extremely popular in Hong Kong. Everyone in my family uses it to contact one another. I mean, my aunts and uncles and everyone in the family are in different 'chats' it's a great way to have everyone stay informed.

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The fact that almost everybody has it, unlike Trillian? Now, if only it could make calls and let those greedy operators rot in hell...

I'd never heard of it til today. No one I know has it. Maybe is an American thing.

Never heard of WhatsApp, I've heard and have used Trillian on my desktop. I only use gTalk.

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I used it for a bit on my blackberry but kinda hated it and was a drain on the battery, Google if they buy it will take the Blackberry app away

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long live whatsapp, independent without any of googles crapy UI or tie-ins.

whatsapp looks native on every platform not unified and out of place on all of them. its quick, barebones and does the job. i cant see it getting better only worse.

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