Chat service WhatsApp denies rumors of Google acquisition

April 9, 2013
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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.

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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?

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