Facebook in talks to buy cross platform messaging app Whatsapp?
The popularity of Whatsapp has gone from strength to strength, and it seems that recently it’s getting the app noticed. A report from TechCrunch this weekend indicates that none other than Facebook is interested in buying the cross-platform messaging app.
Unfortunately the site has no named sources, merely quoting people who are “close to the matter” out in Silicon Valley, California. It would appear that Mark Zuckerberg’s super social network is looking to buy Whatsapp to absorb into its growing digital empire.
Whatsapp is one of, if not the, biggest cross-platform instant messaging service in the world. With a connection to the internet of some sort, users on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone can chat instantly and constantly, as well as share files. Both Apple and BlackBerry offer their own system for this type of communication – iMessage and BBM respectively – although figures show Whatsapp to be more popular than both.
In August of this year Whatsapp revealed that its users were sending a staggering 10 billion messages every day. Just under a year ago, in October 2011, 1 billion messages were being sent every day, which goes to show the incredible explosion of growth the app has enjoyed.
So what could Facebook want with a messaging app for smartphones? After all, it recently started to use Skype to power video calls for its own Chat service, and Mark Zuckerberg has refuted claims that the company is plotting its own smartphone. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg has publically admitted that the future is mobile.
Perhaps the company is hoping to buy Whatsapp and rebrand it as Facebook chat for smartphones. On the other hand, it could integrate the smartphone app into Facebook Chat, allowing users on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone to chat seamlessly with users logged in to Facebook on Mac and PC.