Google appears to be trying to get a toehold in the app-based messaging phenomenon. According to Digital Trends, the search and mobile goliath has been an ongoing talks with the very popular chat app WhatsApp. The number being thrown around in reports is a price tag of $1 billion. The company says it has achieved massive scale from its popular following, claiming that on New Year’s Eve it processed more than 11 billion outbound messages. The app has a worldwide following, with a very deep penetration in some of the major international smartphone markets.
For Google, such acquisition would give it a more direct competitor to Apple's iMessage, which allows for peer-to-peer messaging between Apple iOS users that occur within the operating system and outside the usual text messaging channels. It would also give Google a competitor to Facebook's internal messaging. As the social network demonstrated last week, when it introduced its new Android-based interface, the company is hoping to make peer-to-peer communications a more integrated part of the social networks app and more deeply baked in presence on Android.
Having a wildly popular chat app across worldwide markets also gives Google potentially even more inventory, products, and data around which to wrap its mobile advertising product. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has resisted ad support, so its users might react quite negatively to a Google acquisition and the prospect of having their beloved monetized by advertising.