Yesterday Facebook announced their plans to purchase WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion, with plans to keep the service running separately, which means that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp will co-exist, at least as far as the immediate future is concerned.
According to Fortune, however, there is more to the story than just Facebook’s interest in the messaging platform. Reportedly, two separate sources claim that Google was also actively interested in purchasing WhatsApp and had offered as much as $10 billion for the service.
It’s not completely clear when or why WhatsApp denied the offer, though it is important to note that Google’s bid did not come with a promise of a board seat for WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum, unlike Facebook’s offer.
Would WhatsApp have been better off becoming part of the Google family? Honestly, there’s really no way of knowing for sure. For one thing, it’s still early in the game and we’ve yet to see how Facebook handles the acquisition. Even if things go badly, we can’t say what Google might have done differently. If Google had purchased the service, there’s also no guarantees that Google would have kept WhatsApp around as an independent app — something that Facebook is intent on doing.
What do you think of Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp? Does this at all change your opinion of the service? Do you wish that Google would have bought the platform instead? Let us know what you think in the comments below.