WhatsApp
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Rumor: Google attempting to acquire WhatsApp for near $1 billion

A lot of you who are big fans of messaging app WhatsApp- a popular, cross-platfrom, instant messaging application for smartphones. If you’re holding a mobile device, odds are there is a Whatsapp application available for it. The company launched in 2009 and quickly did to SMS what Skype did to international calling on landlines (at least that’s what Wikiepedia is telling me). So here’s fairly big news for the app. Google is attempting to acquire it for one billion dollars.

WhatsApp is currently negotiating prices with Google according to an inside source of Digital Trends. The deal started four to five weeks ago. Right now WhatsApp is apparently playing hardball and vying for a higher price, which is “close to 1 billion right now”.

It’s becoming clearer that integrated communication services are going to become integral to all the competing ecosystems out there. Microsoft is positioning Skype to be the foundation for communication across their devices and services, Apple has iMessage, and Google has Google Talk, but looks to be expanding their reach with this potential acquisition of WhatsApp.

So why would Google spend around 1 billion dollars for an app that most of you might use for free? Good question, some obvious answers jump out. While Google could easily use their existing services to mimic the functionality of WhatsApp, it doesn’t have immediate access to the user base. That’s what Google is getting by buying WhatsApp, all the users. Additionally there is something called ‘Google Babble’ that is going to help combine the different communication services Google has under one product. WhatsApp would help target the mobile segment of their future plans.

What does this mean for Windows Phone users? Nothing at the moment. We’re still waiting to get the next version of WhatsApp that will bring new smiles, a quicker app, and more. But beyond that we don’t see what Google or WhatsApp would gain by ignoring their Windows Phone app. Although this is Google, so don’t hold your breath if updates to WhatsApp slowdown in the coming months following an acquisition.

Share your thoughts and armchair analysis below!

And if you don't have WhatsApp, download it from the Windows Phone Store here.

QR: WhatsApp

Source: Digital Trends

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Reader comments

Rumor: Google attempting to acquire WhatsApp for near $1 billion

216 Comments

DAMN! No need to worry though. A similar rumor about a Facebook takeover was around in the past and it turned out to be nothing. Lets hope this too is bullshit.

exactly what i was thinking... everything Google buys turns into shit... example: snapseed, google reader, etc
 
first thing they will do is remove the WP and legacy Blackberries (OS6,7) versions and just keep Android (obviously) and iOS (just to take the piss out of tim cook et al).

I've never understood the point of what's app. Doesn't texting do the exact same thing? I can text to windows, android, IOS, etc. So what the hell is the point?

Me and my friends use it as a chat room. Thus way we can all talk without having to worry about someone's phone not handling grouped messages. I used to wonder why anyone would use it as well and now it is my most used app.

Well, that's one more reason to tell your friends to drop their crap phones and get a Windows Phone.  Group messaging is built in.  Friends don't let friends buy other phones.

Sadly, this is impossible.  I still have friends who use FB chat as a primary communicator without even owning a phone.  They use the ipod touch for texts and FB chat for conversations.  Never would've believed that people still do this here in the US, but anywho....

Group messaging uses MMS to keep the messages in one thread. Unfortunately, not everyone has MMS. WhatsApp is a great cross-platform solution for group messaging and all that's needed is a data plan or WiFi connection.

I agree! Plus, let us not forget that some of us have long distance relatives that don't have free international texting in their plans. Whatsapp is GREAT for this. And Viber, as well as skype, even moreso for those long distance calls :)

Because not everyone is switching to Skype. Man isn't popular in the Netherlands anymore, everyone is using whatsapp. It's free unlike SMS and it is fast and reliable.

If not everyone is switching to Skype, they do have Windows Live Messaging integrated into their phones (WP). And Windows Live messenger is being replaced by Skype. And yeah Skype already offers HD video calling n the best audio calling, without eating your battery. The integration is about to get better in WP :-) and yeah, Whatsapp is free only for the first year.

I use it for almost 4 years and never had to pay for it. So it is kinda free. Still waiting when they are asking me to pay but for now my account says 'lifetime'

In the Messaging Hub, pull up the three dots and tap Settings. There is an option to turn it on/off. I've noticed it's off by default on some devices. I recommend going through all the settings. Could discover something you didn't know it could do.

In a country where a text message costs almost $1 (argentine peso), which is almost as expensive as a call minute, it's barely essential to have an app like Whatsapp, it is a lifesaver for 90% of us, specially those with a data plan

It's great for people who have limited text messaging plans,, like me.. For us we can use whatsapp when we get close to our limit. This is especially good if you're on a WiFi connection.

I've explained this dozens of times: some of us have friends/family who are international. Try texting (or even worse, MMS) a few hundred times over seas and see what your phone bill is like. Think beyond a US-centric mobile life...

I'm American and I agree with what you're saying. We can be pretty self righteous at times, but we don't mean to.. Its because of the way our society raises us to think that even God blesses America.. We should humble ourselves!!

It probably also comes with being the most powerful country in the world. And having lots of idiots...:P

Not really. When things go to hell, U.S. companies gleefully look to war and the U.S. military for new revenue streams. Most other countries either couldn't care less, or are happy to let the U.S. pick up the tab for military interventions... that is a path to national bankruptcy, not greatness.

That is how it has been but will no longer be much sooner than you might think. No empire lasts forever. Hubris is the the predessor to decline.

I couldn't agree more. The rest of the world should be on their knees thanking U.S for all it has done. Since the WWII, U.S. has guarateed the world peace by its existance only. They defeated the Soviets, other communists and united Germany. I wish I could be an proud American one day.
 
Now what does this have to do with Google attempting to buy whatssapp?

Hitler tried to assimilate countries, just like how Google is with its Borg like presence.

Hahahahaha the US whas not nearly as usefull to world peace as Americans think. Actually in WWII the soviets where the ones that defeated Hitler way before the Americans got there. Americans create many wars for obvious political and economical benefit and there is no reason to be thankful to them.

HAHAHAHA "U.S. has guarateed the world peace by its existance only. They defeated the Soviets, other communists and united Germany" 
That's probably the most ignorant comment regarding modern history i have ever heard....not to get much into it, but the key player in winning WW2 was The soviet Union....and the UK, The US merely HELPED with lousy numbers (do check), but thanks of course, truly....
plus "defeating the Soviets"?? the Soviet Union fell apart by itself, and the only ones thinking they were bad are the Americans....both parts had a fued but that doesnt make the soviets BAD, americans were bad according to the soviets, also doesnt make them bad.....
ANYWAY, go do some reading kido, you really need it....and NO, forums about the greatness of America do not count as reading. FYI, there have almost never been a World peace in Human history, and surely not in the past 200 years.

*Sorry for my English, it's my third language*

Yeah, I'm sure the rest of the world should be really thankful for being the only country on earth that's ever used nuclear weapons and routinely invades soverign countries on the pretext of non-existent WMDs and threat to national security.
 

@missionsparta. Haha. Agreed. The world is full of egocentric and self-absorbed. To think that is only a characteristic of an American, nope. The world is full of ......
On topic I can expect whatsApp to go down the tube if google buys. Bummer

Just to make sure, I think "bad english" means I hope I can make myself clear. Nothing more.

Even without international messaging, WhatsApp and other IMs are great for messaging local friends. If you have a smart phone, you'll probably have a data plan anyway, might as well use an app than pay for texting. And yeah, plus group chats, sending media etc.

I hate google. If they will acquire it then surely i wl leave whats app. Nd there r line. Which is far better than whats app and its also free. But whatsapp is free only for 1 yr... :(

Ofc not! Even if u don't have data plan for internet you can text via whatsapp/skype/viber etc, via WiFi for free.
Meaning no cost associated to that text.
Texting (SMS) will cost.

My wife uses it to chat with her brother in Sweden. I use it as a group chat with buddies here in Canada, the USA and with Family. Most people will have unlimited text but that doesn't go international. Our plan with Wind includes international text but Her Brothers plan doesn't therefore What's app is the perfect solution. Also if people change their # is a sure fire way of getting through to someone provided they installed the app.

I don't get it either. Don't know a single person who uses it. So... *yawn* Do what you want with it Google.

It may seem inconsequential to you, but another win for geGool is one step closer to their techdominance of the technodrome techdominion! =p

Whatsapp is a great way to communicate with pretty much any smart device that has the app no matter where people are. Text messages don't come cheap in many countries and some devices have issues with MMS, a requirement for sending media and group chatting.
However, I prefer Viber more as it also has voice calls. I primarily use skype for video calls but sometimes I wish skype was able to register using only phone numbers and used push notification for alerts to avoid needing the app to run in the background. Tango has that ability I mentioned but skype has an app in pretty much every platform.

I have a big reason! When you live in a diferrent country and need to comunicate with family and friends, sending message it out of the question, becuse is to expensive! 

when I visited the US i understood why whatsapp means nothing there, im not saying you are from the US, just giving an example, people pay 5$ including their 100$/ month bill and get unlimited messeging, in that case whatsapp is absulete, on the other hand, in my country we pay 10$ per month and get a huge package of 3000 calls in thte network, 60 for other networks min and only 60 sms, over that and you cant send sms or you have to pay for it, so whatsapp comes in handy, plus, whatsapp groups are soo much fun. :D hope that made it clear

Have you ever heard of texting over WiFi when you don't have any cellular coverage at the time aka the "dead zone?" That's what WhatsApp can do buddy.

Its free i've seen people with unlimited data use it becuase they didn't have unlimited text i use it to text relatives over seas to avoid  the massive charge to the phone bill

While most people opt for carrier plans that includes unlimited texting... I was comparing plans the other day and realized that in some scenarios, unlimited text is still an added charge.
 
For example, in a traditional AT&T family plan, you pick your voice plan, then add-on text ($30 for unlimited, all lines) and add-on data (must pay per line, price varies).  
 
So it occured to me that if I were to switch to a more 'regular' plan, I can leave out the unlimited text and then use apps like Whatsapp or Google Voice for texting.

My mobile phone bill is $20 per month in total - that includes 100 SMS, 150 MB data, a certain amount of calls etc. That's more than enough for my needs, but if I'm talking to people for any great amount of time I'd prefer to use my data plan or wifi than my SMS allowance. Very few people would have unlimited texting in Australia, as you'd be paying closer to $100/month

Even their products are fragmented? Most people I know use either Facebook or Skype for IM. Most of my Asian friends don't text surprisingly.

Your Asian friends most probably are texting thru Whatsapp or LINE or WeChat or Viber or any app that provide texting thru data plan. I had to pick up texting plan because my American friends are all texting and not using any of those (almost) free services.

Skype is free for member to member chat/calls/video chat. It's when you call a phone # that it costs money. I've had Skype for years & never spent a cent on it.

That's what I thought, but me and my GF can't get it to work. It keeps asking us to buy credit. What am I doing wrong?? Also, does Skype have better video call quality than Tango on the PC?

you have to make sure both of you are online. best way to see this if you're using Skype on a WP is scroll across to people, click on all and change that to available and you'll see only your contacts that are online with Skype. then if you call them it will be free. If you're GF is not available then she's not connect to Skype anywhere. if she's using WP7 she'll have to actually start the app as it doesn't run in the background. if she's using WP8 she should be online all the time (unless she's changed her status). 
and yes Skype has the better video call quality than Tango. i think voip is better than Viber as well.

same thing. on the pc it should tell you if the contact is available or not. there's a green dot to say they are online. if you GF is online her contact should be there with a green dot and you can call/video chat with her free. i've been video chatting for free for the past 10 years (or whenever skype first came out)

Skype is a terrible substitute for WhatsApp.  Can't attach pictures, and both needs to be online.  Plus the integration with of Skype between Windows 8, RT and WP8 is a mess.  I have all three and got multiple threads with the same contacts (very annoying).  Had to uninstall it on WP8.  
Skype is also terrible for messenging on PC.  Messenger was so much better!  
Anyway, if Google does buy WhatsApp, you can bet I'll be stop using it.  I'm not letting a company data mine me.  One reason why I sold the One X.

I could not exist without Skype so I'm not sure what planet you live on. I use it for every chat screen sharing and international chat I do. Many times daily. And for free.

It is the best cross platform chat and voice system out there.

I can't use Skype on my Windows Phone unfortunately as the online status and all messages from my desktop are mirrored on the phone! Can you believe it? The phone is beeping or vibrating all day long because at work we use Skype intensively to chat with colleagues and customers.

You may disable 'toast notifications' from Skype's settings. That way, no more vibration/ringing. You may switch it off for messenger/skype/both.

Forgive me but its messaging on messenger...I almost thought it could have said messengering and that's even worse lol =P
While its true that they need to clean up the contacts issue between their Skype to messenger accounts, if you transferred messenger to Skype I think it works great compared to the original Skype messaging...or is it the other way around, is that what you meant? =s

I have a separate acocunt for my Skype with credits I used to use on Android, and Windows 7.  For Windows 8, I logged on using my mail Live account .. and guess what, they don't merge properly.
Second, with Skype running, you will get the same messages on both the Message app on Windows 8 and Skype.  Now you get two threads of conversation in Skype and the Message app.  The contacts are also all messed up with the integration.
I'm all for integration if done properly.  One of the reasons why I have Win8, the Surface and Lumia.  But Skype on WP8 is lacking.  I only use it on my PC now.

both need to be online if you want to video chat, but if you want to send a message you can send them offline, same as whatsapp etc. as for sending pics, you can on PC but not WP but I'm guessing that will surely be an update soon enough

Skype needs some changes if it wants to take on group chat services like whatsapp, viber and tango. It needs to take some if not, all the features from its asset: groupme.

Skype needs:
1a. Registration with phone number. (maybe create a link with skype id like they did with microsoft id)
1b. Finding other users using the numbers from contact list.
2. Background Push for calls, IM, other media. i.e. no need to have app running in background.
3. Drop the requirement to be online to initiate conversation. i.e. offline messaging (need to get #2 right for this to happen)

Skype had been missing all these mostly because its backend wasn't centralized (P2P), but it is becoming more centralized now since Messenger got integrated into Skype. If they do that skype can become one of the best way to communicate anywhere.

I've never used WhatsApp, and don't intend to.. but Google doesn't need to purchase this. Google Talk would probably go the way of Reader, and they would kill the Windows Phone version just because they could.
 
Google purchasing anything these days signals death for hope of any version on a Microsoft platform.
 
'Don't Be Evil.. except to Microsoft'

Well I never use whatsapp, I just text and Skype but I agree if google aquires the app its bad news bears for WP users since Google has it out for us!

If they do succeed in acquiring WhatsApp I can almost read the headlines: "Google to Microsoft: No WhatsApp for you"

Whatsapp may have changed the world of messaging but it certainly isn't the only viable option. Wechat is another good one. Provides much more functionality than Whatsapp! It already has a good user base.
And google's unfair trade practices have been on a rise recently, Microsoft needs to step in.

Oh damn...this is worrying...have a strong hunch that it will mess up things even more for WP if google acquires whatsapp...

Never understood the need for whatsapp in this day and age, everyone gets more than enough texts to use.

In countries like India the stupid government limits us to 200 messages a day on prepaid.
So yes WhatsApp is very useful out here.

You must not have any family or friends living in another country, cause if you did you would understand why apps like Whatsapp is very important. It is very expensive texting anyone in another country, regardless if you have unlimited text, which only apply to your country, not to other countries. If you don't know anyone or have any friends in any other part of the world, then no worries for you and will never have to use this type of app.

This thread has taught me so much about mobile phone use in different countries. Being from the US and only ever having been to Canada, I never thought that mobile plans would be different anywhere else.

Whatsapp and other such apps are very popular in lots of countries and you get to send Unlimited National and International texting, pictures, videos for FREE

Not true. I am on ATT with 3GB plan but no text. I text international only, which costs extra money....compared to $1 per year for whatsapp.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't WhatsApp charge after an initial trial period? That's why I've stuck with Kik, Gtalk and old school AIM.

You are wrong, I have had WA for almost 3years? Now And have never been charged a cent :) its a great app, but now viber is better with the free calling update for WP :)

I pray this is not true. I don't want Google to get into the messaging market and ruin Skype.

Ruin skype? There's no chance of that... just like Buzz, lattittude, and G+ haven't "ruined" facebook like they hoped.

WP becoming more popular in countries that need apps like WhatsApp, Google buys WhatsApp, kills it for WP, tells you to buy an Android 2.3 phone.

I use it with my work colleagues...although I also use it with some friends as some have iphones and some android, etc...
For work with my colleagues it's an unofficial meeting place basically...however, if google gets it I'll probably fork it and we'll switch to skype or something else...skype still has a long way to go though...

It doesnt matter which app he uses, its what his friends use, so its not that easy to jump between these apps.

Good. I hate google but I hate whatsapp to. Hope this does something and makes my frds use another app like LINE or Viber. 90% of my fds use whatsapp, only reason why I'm stuck with it.

"G" is extremely clever and sinister, yet one more tool added to their snooping ways.. Wonder if the Chinese and,Russians will ban the app if G aquires?

Viber is more wide-spread throughout my contacts than WhatsApp is. The same stands for Skype. I'm not sure how things work outside but anything that has to do with Google is the devil's work and a threat to us. Beware Scroogle.

What are you talking about? It has video and voice calling. It has chat, it has file transfer....what else do you want. I love it on my RT.

For those who don't understand the point of messaging apps, try traveling outside of the US. It's a "free" way of "texting". PS I thought Nokia and WhatsApp were in the sack.

I would recommend fans of What'sApp begin to look for alternatives. If this rumor turns out to be true from the EVIL's of the Gbasterds, this app will lose WP functionality within a month. Then blame MS for it.

Edds, this app was a lifesaver when I moved outside carrier specific zones to connect with people globally.
That's a good enough reason to use it.

And one of the first things this "do-no-evil" Google will ask after acquiring them is to force them to drop Windows Phone support.

I hope it doesn't happen. Texting international and sending pics is so reasonable with whatsapp. Its almost impossible to function without it. If evil google buys it out, its possible WP won't have whatsapp anymore. Hope its just a rumour.

Why doesn't Microsoft improve Skype, with attachments of pics and video etc....i would use Skype for messaging as well as video calling...and then whatsapp can go fly a kite....

KjhAs soon as I heard this news, I informed all my contacts that I will be leaving Whatsapp for Viber to continue our unlimited texting/chatting. I can't stand Google one bit. An advertising company posing to be tech company, willing to do whatever it takes to get people's data for monetization? *pukes* that's the height of desperation!!

There's a reason Skype is still in Beta for Windows phone, and I want to believe they want to add most of the features of BBM & Whatsapp and then completely bake it into the OS...I don't mind mhen...I'll just wait than go Google!!

Fucking assholes! You know its obvious that Google 's goal has always been to destroy MS. But you know what, I truly hope Steve Job's dream come true, NUKE ANDROID!

i thought evryone in west using whatsupp. in india its becoming like a plague. i havent used skype or viber for chatting and  always thought whatsup is really easy.the group chat is really good and fun

i live in delhi...and ur right its like plague here....but then again i bet everyone will switch to skype or wechat when google buys it and puts ads in it

Well, if this goes through, goodbye Whatsapp! Pretty sure Google will try to remove it from Windows Phone, given their recent stance on all things Microsoft... I'll have to let my Canadian friends know I'll be switching to Viber.

Ha must be the morning hangover with all the spelling errors. Big party people! Skype wasn't exactly a big money maker and most of its users are free, so not much different than WhatsApp. I really don't know how MS justifies spending $8.5 billion on something that is ultimately a niche product. Most people have plans with unlimited minutes and international calls are pretty niche. There's also dozens of other services besides skype that do a better job, and are cheaper. If they just want the userbase, I don't see why they don't just make some strategic partnership that shares user data instead of having to buy the company outright. MS is making one big fatal mistake after another. All the antitrust monopolizing in the world won't pay for all the blunders they've made in the past few years in an attempt to remake themselves. WhatsApp seems far fresher than the aging Skype, and far cheaper to boot for Google with more strategic utility.

These days "expand their services" in G speak means nix Windows Phone support. Many may disagree with me but this just seems like dirty business.

If Google does indeed purchase WhatsApp, bet your ass WhatsApp will soon be offering advertising space.
And, from what I see Google becoming, I do not wish to support them. IF they purchase WhatsApp, I'll use another messaging service.

To all those who say we don't need whatsapp
1. Yes we do...cos we have friends and relatives and our mobile plans do not include unlimited international sms'.
2. Nope we can't use viber..u may ask why...oh cause its banned in the middle east..
3. Nope we can't use Skype as well...oh that's cos win phone push notifications are a total mess...
4. Can't use wechat or line cos none of the my other friends or relatives use them.
5. I would have loved to use kik...but its the same as wechat and line...
I love windows phone...ive been on it from day one..have a dvp..a Lumia 920 n a 620..and am not going to quit using WP just cos whatsapp won't be available anymore...but I do know alot of people who would..

Here in the netherlands everybody I know who has a smartphone uses whatsapp which is everybody except my mom becaus shes currently still using a feature phone...

Hell no!!! Let's just all hope it won't happen. Great way for Google to boycott Windows Phone users even more...

Let Google pay 1Bn for Whatsapp, then restrict its updates and usability and watch other independent chat clients rise to replace whatsapp... Yes whatsapp had the user base but this can change. (see MySpace//Facebook)

Let Google pay 1Bn for Whatsapp, then restrict its updates and usability and watch other independent chat clients rise to replace whatsapp... Yes whatsapp had the user base but this can change. (see MySpace//Facebook)

can you group mms on skype? all my friends all use imessage and i feel out of the group, i try to convince them to get on WP, but they wont. so we need to find an app that lets us group IM, any recommendations?

Does anyone here actively use GroupMe? Seems like a viable alternative by description but I never got to try it out yet since most of my friends are stuck on viber or whatsapp and don't plan on leaving those.

They shouldn't approve the acquisition unless Google agrees not to stop developing for platforms it already exists on.

I don't know why MS is not buying it... The move of destroying messenger and integrating with Skype is to compite with the rest of messaging platforms.. But as always with Ms they are doing slow and bad. You can't force people to use something that they don't want to and people is angry with destroying messenger.. Bad strategy again Microsoft. Just buy whatsapp and integrate to better with WP and Windows ..

Do you know wechat reportedly has over 300 million users in China? And QQ, the most popular IM software in China, has more than 700 million users. The lousy quality of these two apps on windows phone has already shunned a lot of potential buyers away. This google acquisition of whatsapp might well be a disaster to wp, considering what kind of company google is

Oh no! Even though I love(d) google for all their services, this somehow gives me a bad feeling. Considering how they are treating WP right now, lets hope they won't acquire whatsapp!

Whats App is an awesome messaging software...in Bombay India (whr i live)...it has almost killed BlackBerry on its own... around 70% of contacts in my contactlist are on Whats app...its so instant and easy to use...its been deciding factor in purchasing a phone... i loved Palm Pre...but no WhatsApp...didnt bu it...i loved Nokia N900...bought it..sold it in few days reason no WhatsApp...i bought Samsung Focus only when WhatsApp released on WP if i am not wrong 29 September 11...other day i read an article on Engadget... Whats App has caused estimated revenue losses worth 14 Billion to carriers in sms revenue all over the world.
 
I would hate google to acquire Whats App because its the only major app which is free and doesnt push iritating advts......its my 3rd year on Whats App and they have just extended free period for another 1 year... Its like WINAmp take over by AOL and they just killed it...

I'm stuck in 7.8 so correct me if I'm wrong but, what about the "rooms" integrated in WP8 OS? I don't know how do they work exactly or how is their functionality but the first thing I thought when I saw this feature was "dude, screw whatsapp!"

well rooms are good but you can only communicate with people who have WP8. WP7, iOS, Android, BB are excluded, now what is the chance of friends & family all of them having WP8.

Why do we need Whats App?
Um, maybe because not everyone on earth lives in the United States of we-are-the-only-people-that-matter?
Believe it or not there are other countries out there, and international texts are expensive!

Yes, you are right.  But most Americans are not being arrogant in posing this question, they are simply unaware of the restrictions present in other countries and/or don't regularly interract with others outside the US.
 
People who live on other continents can forget just how big and geographically isolated the United States is; outside of the major coastal cities, people here can grow up rarely seeing "foreigners" or having to deal with a language other than their native one. Americans are not provincial by nature, we just don't live in a multi-national region of the world and are "ignorant" because of it.
 

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