Chat service WhatsApp denies rumors of Google acquisition

by: Chris SmithApril 9, 2013


Earlier reports claimed that WhatsApp and Google are in acquisition talks, with the latter said to consider paying $1 billion for the popular mobile messaging application, but it looks like that’s not so.

Talking to AllThingsDigital, Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s “Business Guy” said that the his company is not “holding sales talks with Google” without sharing more details about any other potential purchase.

This isn’t the first time WhatsApp is rumored to sell, with previous reports – similarly shot down by the company – involving Facebook as a potential buyer for the service. Meanwhile, Facebook has further developed its Messenger app for mobile devices and has recently introduced the Chat Heads texting service as part of the Facebook Home Android user interface.

On its part, Google is apparently working on a unified messaging system of its own. Reportedly called Google Babel, the new app has been featured in a variety of rumors and leaks so far and should be announced in the near future.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging app on smart mobile devices across operating systems (the app works with Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian), enjoying a growing user base. Unlike other similar applications, the app doesn’t require the user to create a new account to stay connected with friends. Instead, the app uses the user’s phone number to log in to send and receive messages.


In addition to SMS-like text messaging, the app also supports file transfers including images and videos. The text messages do not count towards users’ text plans with their wireless operator and do not incur additional costs, as long as they have an active data plan or access to a Wi-Fi network. This allows users to virtually send an unlimited number of text messages and recent WhatsApp statistics reveal that the application is getting more and more popular.

According to data from August 2012, WhatsApp handles 10 billion messages per day, up from two billion per day four months earlier. Comparatively, in October 2011, users exchanged over 1 billion messages per day. On New Year’s Eve 2012, the app handled 18 billion messages, which is the current record for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp costs $0.99 (either a one-time fee or a yearly subscription depending on operating system) but can also be downloaded free of charge (again, depending on mobile OS).

Are you using WhatsApp already or do you rely on a different messaging application?

  • google got talk and babel now, why would they invest into something “hip” than whatsapp if you got your own quite strong chatservices? Im using IMO myself, I like it since it’s free and handles alot of clients, still offering media upload to ALL of them! I don’t got many people on Whatsapp and those I got there, I still did add somewhere esle, so I’m not in need of that program (which I’m actually happy about).

    • with babel and gtalk you’re most likely limited to talk to android users only, whatsapp is way more famous, I don’t have any friend that uses gtalk in iOS, I don’t even think there’s a gtalk app for iOS o.o

    • companyemails

      Babel is replacing GTalk and Android Messenger. It will also quite likely be available for IOS devices as well.

  • well i hope this undone deal will bite whatsapp in the butt

  • I’m not paying them a dollar. I’m sure a ton of kids that don’t have credit cards will buzz off just the same. I hope Google buys it so they can make it a free service. It would be a shame to die out but that’s what’s gonna start to happen in about 6 months time.

  • johnnyttoxic

    Does anyone use Google Voice for text messaging? I wish they’d make that existing tech more robust…

    • companyemails

      I do. I love how you can use it across all your Android devices as well as on chrome on any platform. It is a bit bare bones for texting though.