Anonymous sources reportedly close to the talks claim that the Cupertino firm is at the negotiating stage of a deal that could result in a major acquisition for the firm. Last December the same two parties are reported to have met to discuss a buy-out but didn’t manage to reach an agreement.
At the same time it was also reported that Facebook had its eye on purchasing WhatsApp, although the world’s biggest social network has not been mentioned in relation to the messaging service recently.
However, it’s possible that it’s not WhatsApp itself that Google is after, rather than the team behind it. The Android creator is said to be developing its own messaging service (under the working title of Babel) and the WhatsApp team could be incorporated into this. Last year, Google bought-out email client Sparrow for a $25m sum and moved many of its staff into development of the Gmail smartphone app.
While it’s plausible that Google could be after the talent that created WhatsApp, it’s difficult to imagine that the firm would put an end to the app’s development entirely due to the enormous success and high-profile status that it enjoys.
Having been made available for a wide variety of platforms that includes major names such as iOS and Android and older ones such as Symbian and System 40, over one billion messages are sent using WhatsApp each day. The service also boasted that on New Year’s Eve 2012 the number of messages sent rose to an incredible 18 billion.