WhatsApps' $1B Message

Google is rumored to be considering a $1 billion takeover bid for WhatsApp.

Digital Trends reports that the deal is in a negotiating phase at the moment.

The logic in a buy-out for Google is that it needs a mobile messaging platform, and WhatsApp would give it a ready-made user base. While WhatsApp is secretive about how big its user-base is, it's known that the company handles billions of messages each day.

One possible hitch, though, is that Google would be buying a platform that is helping to grab revenues from the mobile operators that use Google's Android smartphone operating system. WhatsApp is similar to Skype in that it takes a dedicated service -- text messaging -- for which carriers charge and runs it over-the-top of the network, delivering a service to end users and no revenues to the network operators.

WhatsApp Messenger is a mobile messaging app that allows users to exchange messages with others who have the app without having to pay for SMS. Users can also use the app to send videos.

This is unlikely to give Google much pause, because it will continue happening whether the search giant buys WhatsApp or not: I noted back last year that WhatsApp was a promising prospect in the growing mobile social bubble. (See Finding the Buzz in the Mobile Bubble.)

I do wonder if we'll see more chatter from operators about alternative mobile operating systems if this acquisition goes ahead, though.

What's more certain is that as operators' traditional sources of revenue -- voice and SMS -- decline, we'll see an even greater focus on how to squeeze more money out of the one thing that user's can't easily cut -- the mobile data plan.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

DanJones 4/9/2013 | 5:08:40 PM
re: WhatsApps' $1B Message WhatsApp says its not selling to Google anyway:

^ip4g^ 4/9/2013 | 10:54:46 AM
re: WhatsApps' $1B Message a ncie way to pitch against MSFT Skype. Though Skype is predominantly voice calling, and whatsapp is sms equivalency.
DanJones 4/9/2013 | 2:54:33 AM
re: WhatsApps' $1B Message Carriers are still plenty strange in the way they treat developers though.
MordyK 4/9/2013 | 12:52:34 AM
re: WhatsApps' $1B Message I can see the emotional attachment given the current OTT feelings, but at the end of the day it would just be one of many signs of the balance of power dynamic between the OS companies and the carrier's reflected in the control of the app stores and underlying enablers.

If the carriers want to participate in the app game they need to invest in capabilities that will be attractive to developers and make it painless.
Sign In