Google is reported to be in acquisition talks with WhatsApp, the cross-platform mobile messaging service. Digital Trends is reporting that the negotiations between the two companies have been on for four to five weeks, with WhatsApp aiming for a higher valuation, which is currently rumored to be close to $1 billion. This is not the first time we are hearing about WhatsApp being in acquisition talks, the most recent suspect being Facebook. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G review: Looks fancy, runs fast but too priceyAlso Read - Google Play Store announces blanket ban on Sugar Daddy apps over sexual content
WhatsApp has quickly become a dominant mobile messaging service and it processed over 18 billion messages on New Year’s Eve alone. The Santa Clara based company has been very secretive about its user base and usage patterns, only revealing some usage stats on achieving key milestones. The company said it does not comment on rumors and speculations. Also Read - HP Pavilion 13 Review: A good thin and light laptop, that could have been better
Google desperately needs to get its mobile messaging story right, especially with Facebook coming into the picture with its Messenger service and cracking deals with carriers to offer free Messenger access to their subscribers. In fact, Messenger is one of the key pillars of Facebook Home, which was announced last week and will be available to Android users later this week. WhatsApp too has similar deals in place.
Google’s Gtalk, on the other hand, is slowly losing its relevance and hasn’t evolved much over the past couple of years and that is emerging to be a big problem. Google is rumored to be working on a project called Babel, where it would integrate all its mobile messaging platforms, including Gtalk and Hangout, and WhatsApp or a similar service could be a good fit. Unlike Gtalk, WhatsApp is a mobile-only messaging platform, where users only need a valid phone number to sign in and integrates it with all of their phonebook contacts.
I reckon that we would come to know whether there is any truth in the rumor as early as next week when WhatsApp’s Co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Shmidt and Google’s Head of Global Mobile Solutions, Jason Spero, all take the stage at ATD’s Dive Into Mobile conference in New York.