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Google reportedly in negotiations to buy WhatsApp messenger

by Mark Tyson on 8 April 2013, 14:18

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabutv

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An “inside source” has told Digital Trends that Google and WhatsApp are close to making a deal. The source says that Google want to buy the very successful WhatsApp multi-platform messaging service but the WhatsApp team are “playing hardball” and trying to squeeze more cash out of the Mountain View search giant.

WhatsApp is available for all the major, and minor, mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. If Google could acquire it then build it into its existing services to unify its messaging options it could achieve a big user boost. WhatsApp is extremely popular; it’s the most popular mobile app in over 100 countries and on New Year’s Eve 2012 a record 18 billion WhatsApp messages were sent and received by users.

Will Google make it free but ad sponsored?

WhatsApp’s monetization scheme is different to Google’s ads and sponsored search approach. The popular messaging app is currently supported by a $0.99 yearly fee and also generates revenue through partnerships with mobile telcos who offer WhatsApp usage add-ons to mobile tariffs. It will be interesting to see if a Google acquisition would change this model drastically.

Facebook has recently initiated a push into mobile with Facebook Home. Mr Zuckerberg also realises the importance of messaging to engage users and the Chat Heads application is probably the most important part of the launcher/suite after the Facebook Cover Feed home screen itself. Incidentally both Facebook and Google have reportedly approached WhatsApp before, late in 2012.

Google has been rumoured to be getting ready to launch a messaging service called Babel to tie together all its communications services into a unified hub. Could a WhatsApp acquisition and integration be an almost off-the-peg solution with the advantage of a huge existing user base? We should find out more about these plans by the time Google I/O takes place in May or earlier if the deal is sealed.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Could be the killer catalyst Google need to foist G+ on people…
It makes sense, it's probably (?) the most widely-used cross-platform messaging app, but once Google own it, would Apple let it on their phones?
Is Google talk available on iOS?
I must be blind or stupid but I never get the appeal of whatsApp, I have email gtalk skype and even facebook(please die…soon),what does it do better than these? I get its meant to be a replacement for SMS and I assume its main success is the tablet market via wifi but I struggle to find anyone that uses it.

Scratch that it seems I just need friends….

Dont buy it for $1 billion though that seems like a complete waste of cash simply because its not worth that much as the app actually is free, they would need to have the service for 100 years to break even if they had 10 million yearly users, I cant find actual data on how many users they have but just going by the android side of it they have 2.8 million downloads which means they have at most that many android users (alot of people probably dont even use it :P). They seem way off breaking even and that is without taking into account the running costs!.
Hicks12
I must be blind or stupid but I never get the appeal of whatsApp, I have email gtalk skype and even facebook(please die…soon),what does it do better than these? I get its meant to be a replacement for SMS and I assume its main success is the tablet market via wifi but I struggle to find anyone that uses it.


It doesnt do anything better really a part from that it finds your friends by their telephone no. and it's a cheap way to send pics videos etc..
Smudger
It makes sense, it's probably (?) the most widely-used cross-platform messaging app, but once Google own it, would Apple let it on their phones?
Is Google talk available on iOS?
But think of the user backlash. Apple couldn't get away with blocking a known liked app, to replace it with a bucket of steaming poo that doesn't even have kings cross in the right place….