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Rumor: Google Planning to Acquire WhatsApp for Upwards of $1 Billion

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The worst kept secret leading up to this year’s Google I/O event has been the influx of information hinting at Google planning a new unified messaging service named “Babel.” While Google is no stranger to messaging and chat services, it looks like they might be seeking some help with the new app down the road. New rumors place Google in negotiations with the popular messaging app WhatsApp and it sounds like Google might pay a good amount. 

According to Digital Trends the deal has been in the works for 4 or 5 weeks already and the price for acquisition is nearing $1 billion.

If there was a company that knows messaging on Android it would certainly be WhatsApp. The app is recognized as one of Google Play’s “Top Developers” and has been installed over 100 million times. Adding WhatsApp to their team would certainly bring needed experience into the messaging area, the only question now is will Google get the deal done?

Via: Digital Trends

Cheers Patrick!

  • akiee

    Time to end all the Rumors about Google vs WhatsApp . new Update Announced ” Google wont buy whatsapp ” Read More on http://bit.ly/151PcFS

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    This is great news. Only problem is, as some have pointed out, Google are deliberately pulling support away from WP & BlackBerry, so post-acquisition WhatsApp is unlikely to be as universal as the current service.

  • http://twitter.com/kanagadeepan Kanaga Deepan N

    I don’t think buying Whatsapp (available in all platforms) and making it EXCLUSIVE for Android will be good for Google…

    But what they can do is, just announce “Whatsapp will be FREE–FOREVER for Android and for all other platforms, it will be as usual FREE for first year ONLY”….

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      Exactly what I have in mind. They probably should drop the price a little bit for the other platforms, just to make it less painful :-)

  • Christopher Chin

    that’s some serious coin. wowzers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Cheng/1402836859 Ryan Cheng

    I just hope they make whatsapp free

  • SMoose

    For the folks asking why they would buy WhatsApp if they already have Google Talk:

    1. Users. I think WhatsApp has a significant user base on multiple platforms that Google would love to tap into.

    2. Talent. The WhatsApp team clearly did something right.

    3. Patents?

    • Austin Warren

      Depends on patents if they were willing to spend enough money.

    • bob

      How are those Moto patents working out?

      • SMoose

        You mean the ones that prevented Apple from suing them? Probably pretty invaluable.

        • bob

          Too bad Motorola is still being sued by Apple. Try again.

          • Glen E Ston

            motorola is, google is not.

          • bob

            Because Apple hasn’t sued Google regarding those patents not because the patents prevented Google from being sued. I mean take two seconds to think about what you are saying. You think the patents that Moto owns don’t prevent Moto from being sued but somehow they prevent Google from being sued? haha, keep trying.

          • Tony Allen

            You sir, Try again.

          • bob

            Try again on that beard.

          • michael arazan

            Why would Google want Motorola that has been around since the 1930′s and created the first cell broadcast and cell phones, who knows. Why would they want 80 years of experience in hardware, software, and patents? Yeah, what a terrible addition (sarcasm intended)

  • Brandal Wagener

    All I want is for Babel to look and function like Sliding messaging

    • ßen Murphy

      And all I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.

  • SomeDooD123

    They’re probably buying them for their userbase, more than the “software” or developers. This is app isn’t exactly worth that in terms of IP and software. It’s the giant userbase.

    • DroidFTW

      what good is a userbase for a service that doesn’t generate revenue and is already cross platform so it won’t lead to adoption of Android.

      • SomeDooD123

        I don’t know. But look at how FB acquired Instagram…. that didn’t seem like a good thing to buy either.

        • DroidFTW

          Facebook was worried about people using Instagram as a social network. That was a defensive move. Is Google really worried about people using WhatsApp instead of Google?

          • SomeDooD123

            In some areas of the world people use WhatsApp for ALL SMS/MMS needs. So yes, it could be seen as a defensive move to get Google services in certain parts of the world an advantage.

      • Col_Angus

        What’sApp draws nearly $100 million/year, mostly from their $1/year fee.

        • DroidFTW

          So even if Google charges $1 a year(which i highly doubt) they will recoup in 10 years!

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Adoption of Android isn’t important. Usage of Google services on all platforms is. That’s their entire goal.

  • http://twitter.com/KickingLettuce Kicking Lettuce

    buy Kik instead please.

    • Col_Angus

      Kik has a better UI, but doesn’t even come close to What’sApp’s user base. That’s what WA has to offer to Google.

  • Derek Traini

    WhatsBabel! lol

    • Yo Mum

      Ohh yes, very very funny!!!

  • Austin Warren

    A lot for a company with low profit margins. Wouldn’t be worth it for Google to spend $1 bil +

    • carlinscuderi

      It’s not the company’s profit that Google is after, it’s their massive user base.

      • Austin Warren

        Im talking about Google. $1b is a lot for them.

        • carlinscuderi

          It’s a lot of money, but consider what they might be losing if they don’t buy WhatsApp, and it gets snatched up by a competitor.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Competitor? You mean Facebook? . . . I’m sure Facebook wants those users. Then they would Kill the APp and fold the users into facebook messenger

        • http://www.facebook.com/aarontrevor Aaron Sentell

          As of last July, Google has $43 billion dollars in cash reserves. They have even more now. That’s what that money is for.

  • JBartcaps

    Yes

  • Mordecaidrake

    While I’d love for a unified chat system, I unistalled this app because it required other users to be using it. Why can’t there be SMS/google talk integration and call it a day with that?

    • master94

      Maybe the will combine it to make babel better. One can hope :)

    • brennansarkar

      my roomate’s step-aunt makes $73/hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her income was $14197 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on  Fab99.c­om

      • Alex Hutchins

        Fascinating.

  • Liquidretro

    That seems like a lot of money to pay for something that won’t have it’s own revenue stream and is cross platform.

    • carlinscuderi

      They’re after the users, not the money.

  • DroidFTW

    They already have Google Talk and Google Voice so why the hell would they buy something for a billion dollars to mimic features they already have? Plus all the rumors of Bable which is essentially the same thing. I’m calling bs on this rumor.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      To me deals like this usually boils down to one thing Buying USERS.

      • Trueblue711

        True, but I’m sure most of these people already use Google services in one way or another. So they’d be paying $1 billion for the maybe 20-30% that don’t use Google?

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          Most of what people? You assume. What’s app is on pretty much every OS including BB and WP Nokia S40 phones AND Symbian. To think most of these users use google messaging services is a stretch. I know many people with ANdroid phones that don’t even know Google Talk is there.

          • Trueblue711

            You didn’t read my comment correctly. I never said they used Google messaging services, I said they used Google services in general. It’s very likely that BB, WP, and Symbian users use Google search, Gmail, and other Google services, whether or not they use the mobile phone app.

            My point is that purchasing these users doesn’t mean they’re gaining new users.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            You’re assuming. Its a pretty random stretch to think everyone uses google services especially depnding on the market many of these devices are in.

          • Trueblue711

            I never said everyone, please re-read my other comment instead of being ignorant.

            And Google’s market share statistics prove otherwise. Who is assuming now?

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Market Share WHERE?…. Overrall market share doesn’t say anything about specific markets. What’sapp is big in a lot of smaller markets where many people don’t use google services starting with many caribbean islands. So throwing out a random statement like “Market Share Statistics” doesn’t say much of anything as most of those users are in the US.

          • Trueblue711

            Google also has majority share in the EU, hence why the EU is always keeping a close eye on them. It’s more than the US.

            Also, where are you getting your specific smaller-market statistics about Whatsapp? Your head?
            Even if what you say is true, Google is not going to spend $1B to focus on a very small subset of the market, unless they really feel they can bring more revenue than the regular share.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            I’m sure Google will spend close to 1Billion on what’s app. To buy 300million users (Back to the point)

          • Trueblue711

            Funny, because you’re the one who side-tracked from the original point. Typical maneuver by people who are wrong.

            And once again, you’re wrong. They are NOT buying 300 million users if a majority of them ALREADY use Google services!

            I think I’m done here. You have a lot to learn.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Like I said in my second point. YOU ASSUME many of those users use Google Services. Which is just a random thought to have. But it’s okay to have random thoughts.

          • Tyler Cameron

            Well.. you really can’t use an Android device without Google Services…
            You need a Google account for the best contact sync and Play Store access. The 2 most basic features of Google Services. Just because they’re not using Talk, doesn’t mean their phone isn’t connected to Google. Just like iMessage. A text between iDevices is automatically an IM unless there’s no data connection. Then it’s an SMS. Again, this is Automatic. If google makes something similar, it will be invisible to the user just like iMessage and this again rases the question. What do they need to buy WhatsApp for? Hundreds of millions of Android devices are already connected to Google Services. WhatsApp doesn’t give Google anything.

    • carlinscuderi

      They want to unify their messaging services. If they bought WhatsApp, I couldn’t see them keeping Talk around much longer. It will probably be phased out and replaced by WA.

      • DroidFTW

        i thought that was the entire point of Babel

    • JasonIvers

      User base… 300 million users is a lot of people, including a ton of people NOT on Android. If they can use the purchase to move those people to Google services, $1,000,000,000 might be worthwhile.