WhatsApp denies Google takeover claims
It looks like Google will not be having its way after all. AppleInsider.com reported that WhatsApp’s head of business development, Neeraj Arora, late on Monday evening, denied all claims made by the search engine giant to acquire its popular multi-platform messaging service for $1 billion.
Arora, told AllThingsD that sales talks are not being held with Google.
It was reported on Sunday that the messaging giant was in talks with Google for a buyout worth $1 billion. Digital Trends published the report citing an anonymous source.
The report also stated that the acquisition would bode well for Google as it was working on its own cross-platform messaging initiative “Babble.” That project was to supposedly bring continuity across the search giant’s various services on both Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems.
WhatsApp has become one of the most popular third party messaging apps in the world, boasting tens of millions of users on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
WhatsApp has proved immensely successful in the time since its release, netting tens of millions of users across Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Apple’s iOS platform. It is currently the second-most popular paid app in Apple’s iTunes App Store, and the service saw 18 billion messages transmitted this past New Year’s Eve.
During an interview in March, CEO Jan Koum revealed the pay structure of the iOS version of WhatsApp will change from a one-time fee of $0.99, to a yearly subscription model. Currently, iOS device owners can purchase the app and use it indefinitely, while users on all other mobile platforms must pay a recurring fee of $1 per year. While future iOS pricing is unknown, Koum said the subscription model would only be applicable to new users once the change is in place, with existing users being factored in.
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