Google Remain Silent in WhatsApp Saga
The rise in smartphones has revolutionised the way in which we now go about our everyday life. With smartphones now pushing over the 1 billion mark, it is important that we all have the right tools to communicate with one another.
WhatsApp allows users to send messages, photos and videos over data connections rather than your typical pay-per-text scheme. This means that you have the freedom to communicate with your friends without having to worry about how much you are spending. This is definitely a bonus for many people, although it has to be said, many contract schemes with smartphones these days do offer the user the luxury of ‘Unlimited Texts’. One of the first apps to really take off in this field was BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), although as they tried to niche the app to boost sales, it was only a matter of time before someone adapted the software to allow this kind of communication to be available cross-platform.
Since the launch in 2009 and various backing from Silicon Valley big hitters, the app has now secured more than 250m users worldwide and claims to send more than 10bn messages daily. Although an initial cost of £0.69 is required on iPhones, it still extremely popular holding the crown for most downloaded app in a variety of countries. WhatsApp has been downloaded more than 100m times on Google Play and is one of the top apps on Apples App Store. Also with annual revenues reaching $100m from app sales alone, it is no wonder finally one of the Internet sensations is starting to sniff around.
So this is where Google comes into play. It is reported that the search giant had been prepared to pay $1bn to acquire the messaging service. It must be said this story is still yet to be confirmed although Digital Trends sources did claim both parties have been in discussions for weeks. Counter to this Neeraj Arora refused to commit to any claims the two businesses had been in talks, however Arora has been known to not give anything away in terms of business deals.
It is thought that Googles intention in WhatsApp, apart from its instant success and growth in user numbers, is the ability to integrate the app with its popular social networking service Google+. Acquiring the app would allow Google to capture huge amounts of data helping them to understand exactly who is talking to whom and understanding their customers.
Keep an eye out for any further news regarding WhatsApp and Google here.