Last year, Facebook left the tech world astonished by its acquirement of the Instagram app for an eye-watering $1 billion, and today, the rumor mill is abuzz with the revelation that Google could be next in like to snap up a billion-buck social app. WhatsApp Messenger, the cross-platform instant messaging app serving iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone, is a life-saver to those looking for a hassle-free mode of communication, and according to a new report, the search giant is very interested in buying it.
According to the report, offers from the Big G have already been rebuffed, with WhatsApp, founded by former Yahoo! pioneers Brian Acton and Jan Koum, is said to be holding out for the $1 billion.
The news, if true, would be pretty significant, but also rather surprising. Google’s mobile messaging department could certainly do with bolstering, and drafting in WhatsApp would certainly be an easy way for the Mountain View-based company to achieve this. However, it has long since been reckoned that Google’s ‘Babel’ chat will be an all-encompassing communications service, and with GTalk already being a popular, strong feature of the GApps (at least, on Android), the immediate benefit would seem to be in the user base WhatsApp has amassed in its four years of existence.
Google has, on numerous occasions, acknowledged that the quality of its messaging services have fallen below par, and buying WhatsApp would be a big statement of intent. It would also, as many perceived as motive to Facebook’s Instagram purchase, eliminate one of the main competitors in this field, helping Google quickly place itself among the likes of Facebook Messenger and Apple iMessage.
Unless Google Babel is, contrary to reports, not culminating into the great service Google needs to make its presence known in the IM market, then this could also go a way to explaining why the company is rumored to be considering WhatsApp. After all, the service, which was founded only in 2009, handles tens of billions of messages a day, and if it were to provide the engine for the upcoming Babel service, Google would have one hell of a beast to unleash.
Do you think Google is about to, in a sense, do a Facebook? Or, maybe Facebook will be the first to crash the party? Share your thoughts via the usual medium below.