Rumor: Facebook looking to buy WhatsApp

Rumors are circulating that Facebook is looking to purchase instant messaging mavens WhatsApp. No pricing of the acquisition or even confirmation of talks have been revealed, but TechCrunch seems convinced that something is brewing between the two companies.

Facebook famously bought Instagram for $1B not too long ago, although that number is mostly reflected in now devalued stock options. It’s not clear why Facebook would buy WhatsApp but there are a few possibilities, including augmenting or even gutting the unreliable Facebook Chat and there is of course the legion of WhatsApps users (who never fail to tell us there is an update for the app on Windows Phone, more on the below).

Neither company has confirmed the report at this time. We should point out the chuckle we had back here at Windows Phone Central as one company who is infamous for having a terrible mobile experience may be purchasing another who also seems to have trouble (at least on Windows Phone). We’re not sure what kind of disaster these two companies could whip up but hopefully if it comes to pass, it won’t be Yahoo! level bad.

The WhatsApp update and Windows Phone 8

Speaking of WhatsApp, we’d like to personally thank the 11,248 readers who sent in tips to let us know that the Windows Phone version of WhatsApp has had a minor update to version 2.8.8. We hear it’s slightly faster and less buggy, which is basically the same thing we say every time WhatsApp gets an update. The update also “optimizes your chat storage” and sends chat history via email, which sounds thrilling.

Unfortunately if you’re on Windows Phone 8, you’re still out of luck, as this version is not listed for that OS, meaning no WhatsApp for you. This happened a few weeks ago too and we perhaps unfairly ranted against WhatsApp. We say unfairly because we received this note from Microsoft at the time:

“Due to an operational error, WhatsApp was temporarily unavailable to Windows Phone 8 customers in the Windows Phone Store. The error has been fixed and WhatsApp will be available again shortly.” – Microsoft spokesperson

The irony is of course the app did return for a few days before this 2.8.8 update. Now that the update is out, Windows Phone 8 users are back to not having access again. Microsoft's fault? WhatsApp's fault? We don't really care at this point as we're just tired of the back and forth.

We do know that Nokia is working with WhatsApp to release a newer version (we’re unsure if it is a Lumia exclusive) and if there were anyone who could make that app finally stable, it would be Nokia’s squad of skilled devs. There is no ETA though on that version, so we’ll just have to sit tight.

Until then, please stop tipping us on WhatsApp, kthxbai!

Pick up WhatsApp here in the WIndows Phone Store.

QR: WhatsApp

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.