The internet was set ablaze last weekend with rumors that Google’s close to acquiring the WhatsApp team and its popular messaging app. One report claimed that negotiations went on for several weeks, and a deal was finally reached for $1 billion.
Not so fast. According to a new report, the two companies aren’t even holding talks right now, let alone discussing a buyout. WhatsApp’s business development head Neeraj Arora told AllThingsD last night that the Google acquisition rumors are false…
AllThingsD‘s Liz Gannes reports:
Popular messaging app WhatsApp says it is not in discussions to sell the company to Google. Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’sbusiness development head, told AllThingsDigital today that the company is not holding sales talks with Google…
…Arora declined to comment further.”
It’s not surprising that the buyout talk was unfounded; WhatsApp has been the subject of similar rumors in the past. In fact, just a few months ago, TechCrunch reported that the company was in high-level talks with Facebook over a potential acquisition.
So what makes WhatsApp so appealing to larger tech firms? How about its enormous user base? As of last month, the service facilitated messaging for over 200 million users on over 700 networks, in more than one hundred countries. That’s pretty impressive.
Ok, but if it’s not selling out to Google or Facebook, what does WhatsApp plan to do? Well according to the company’s CEO, its immediate future includes bringing its subscription model to iOS. They’ll make the app itself free, and charge users $1 per year.