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Rumor has Google close to buying WhatsApp for $1B

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Google is said to be well into negotiations with the team behind WhatsApp, with the search giant reportedly considering a $1 billion price tag for the popular cross-platform messaging app.

whatsapp


Sources reportedly close to the negotiations tell Digital Trends that Google is looking to acquire the popular messaging app, and that WhatsApp's team is "playing hardball," holding out for an acquisition price close to $1 billion. Bringing WhatsApp into the fold would likely provide Google with a faster route to unifying its disparate messaging services ? Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Google Talk, etc ? making it more capable of competing in the communication segment against Internet rival Facebook.

Such a service unification may be high up on Google's priorities list right now. Rumors have the search leader working on a project known as Babble, which would provide cross-platform communications between its services. The rumored WhatsApp negotiations could be a means of bringing an accomplished team into Google's own operations, as Google did when it acquired popular iOS mail app Sparrow in July.

Google is said to have approached WhatsApp in the past, broaching the topic of an acquisition in early December. Around the same time, Facebook was also said to be considering buying WhatsApp.

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.

Eschewing advertisements, WhatsApp has managed to pull in considerable revenues with a simple yearly subscription fee of $1. iPhone users pay that fee upon first downloading the app, though recent rumors have the service moving to a model more in line with its incarnations on other platforms. Users on other platforms can download and use the app for free for the first year before being presented with the option to pay a $1 per year subscription fee. While WhatsApp has not released any details on its financial operations, Digital Trends' source says the company may be pulling in roughly $100 million in revenue.
post #2 of 51
Huge user base. Terrible iOS app.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 51
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Huge user base. Terrible iOS app.

I've never seen its equal in ugliness.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 51
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I've never seen it's equal in ugliness.

 

Yeah, a whole mess of features, and a huge mess of a UI.

 

Frankly, I think there's room for a decent cross platform iMessage-esque messaging platform. With a unique no-sign-up process, where the user just chooses a username, and that username becomes like their phone number. So when you meet people they might say "what's your ____" (name of platform fill in blank)

 

There would also be a unique way of adding friends (you would need to be friends to get messages through). When you add a friend they receive a message saying @____ wants to be your friend.

 

So the platform would be spam-free and it would be so easy to create a username that they'd become practically throwaway. And if you really wanted to guarantee you'd keep your username you could add your e-mail.


Edited by Ireland - 4/7/13 at 2:21pm
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 51

And yet, it's the best cross-platform messaging app. It'll be a shame if Google buys it up.

post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Huge user base. Terrible iOS app.

The worst part is that the ios app is still miles better than apps on other platforms.

But they have a tremendous user base.
post #7 of 51

My wider extended family all use WhatsApp (on iOS) and they keep asking if I am on WhatsApp, so I paid for it, installed it, deleted it. Battery hog.

post #8 of 51
Tell me those screenshots aren't from the app itself.

That is the complete antithesis of everything that Apple stands for.

No wonder Google wants it...
Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #9 of 51
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Originally Posted by sip View Post

My wider extended family all use WhatsApp (on iOS) and they keep asking if I am on WhatsApp, so I paid for it, installed it, deleted it. Battery hog.

 

The UX is easily the better reason. It's REALLY annoyingly bad.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 51
WhatsApp is incredibly successful in the UK.

Though it does drain the battery very fast
post #11 of 51
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Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Tell me those screenshots aren't from the app itself.

That is the complete antithesis of everything that Apple stands for.

No wonder Google wants it...

 

To be fair, Google can change the UI, and the feature set. They can change everything about the app. They bought it for the user base.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 51

What's the betting the rebrand this Gmessage

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

To be fair, Google can change the UI, and the feature set. They can change everything about the app. They bought it for the user base.

Wouldn't that put it at odds with the complete mess that is the Android UI though?

1wink.gif
Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #14 of 51

Google getting involved?

 

Nice knowing you, WhatsApp. 

post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

What's the betting the rebrand this Gmessage

I was thinking "What's App, G?"

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Such a service unification may be high up on Google's priorities list right now. Rumors have the search leader working on a project known as Babble, which would provide cross-platform communications between its services. 

 

Sounds like somebody who never went to church, misheard "Babel", a name that would be far more appropriate for a cross-platform communication service.

 

Although I guess Babble would be a cute take-off.

post #17 of 51
I'm not sure if I quite understand this acquisition. Google's own developers could easily built its own cross platform messaging system in less than a month and therefore save Google $1B. This would be a GIANT waste of money.

I'm also not sure if I understand the draw of Whatsapp. SMS does practically the same thing and where that fails, Facebook messenger orMSN messenger fills in the gaps. Is Whatsapp just like a cross platform version of iMessages? I really don't get it.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Sounds like somebody who never went to church, misheard "Babel", a name that would be far more appropriate for a cross-platform communication service.

Although I guess Babble would be a cute take-off.

It's a messaging service. That means people use it to communicate. The word babble, although oft used pejoratively, does means to talk rapidly and continuously. Then you have the word Babel which comes from the biblical story of the infamous tower in Babylon. I think it's highly likely it's a combination of both uses and not someone at Google spelling it wrong. Hearing it wrong in church makes no sense since both are homonyms |ˈbabəl| in modern English.

Bonus answer: There is no known etymological connection between the words babble and Babel despite both relating to language and speech. It looks to be a happy accident.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #19 of 51

HOORAY! BRAVO!

 

I want to keep seeing Google rack up those billions. They're playing roulette with their life savings.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #20 of 51
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

HOORAY! BRAVO!

I want to keep seeing Google rack up those billions. They're playing roulette with their life savings.

They're far from broke, with $48 Billion in cash as of the last quarter.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #21 of 51
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
They're far from broke, with $48 Billion in cash as of the last quarter.

 

That's only four more Motorolas, and they didn't learn from the last one. 

 

*snort*

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #22 of 51
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That's only four more Motorolas, and they didn't learn from the last one. 

*snort*

How do you know they didn't learn from the last one? They haven't bought another 1biggrin.gif
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #23 of 51
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
How do you know they didn't learn from the last one? They haven't bought another 1biggrin.gif

 

Touché. lol.gif

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #24 of 51
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Originally Posted by RichL View Post

And yet, it's the best cross-platform messaging app. It'll be a shame if Google buys it up.
Hmm... looks like I might stop using WhatsApp very soon. It is not an app that I think Apple should buy (how they let The Goog steal Sparrow out from under them I will never know), but I shall miss the cross platform ability. That is the only problem with iMessage, however Apple will probably never open that out to other platforms. It is a great system, but they want it as part of the iOS moat.
..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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post #25 of 51

These sorts of "ideas" are why Google is paying Neal Mohan $100 Million.

post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I've never seen its equal in ugliness.

Seriously?  What's a good looking app then?

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's a messaging service. That means people use it to communicate. The word babble, although oft used pejoratively, does means to talk rapidly and continuously. Then you have the word Babel which comes from the biblical story of the infamous tower in Babylon. I think it's highly likely it's a combination of both uses and not someone at Google spelling it wrong. Hearing it wrong in church makes no sense since both are homonyms |ˈbabəl| in modern English.

 

I don't mean that Google got it wrong.  After all, it's their project to name.

 

What I meant was that I'm pretty sure that Google is internally calling it "Babel", and that some reporter heard about it, but misunderstood and wrote "Babble" instead.

 

Like we both said, the coincidence is that either works, although the biblical term makes more sense from the multi-communications standpoint.

post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I was thinking "What's App, G?"

Some are longing for the the day: "What's G?

--

Really hope this isn't true, because I don't think they won't change the app; they're likely to disable sending photo's and video, instead making you use one of their current offerings (Picassa, YouTube, Cloud Drive or whatever these apps are called). I just wish all these tech companies could work in congruence, but it looks like that's Ungoogleable
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #29 of 51
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

To be fair, Google can change the UI, and the feature set. They can change everything about the app. They bought it for the user base.

This is the interesting part. I don't have anything Google on my iPhone.

Since I let WhatsApp use my address book, does that mean that Google will get all the names, phone #s, and email addresses of everyone in my address book?

I'm not even a Google services user and they might data mine me? They'll have more info about people I know than my own mobile carrier, since many of my contacts, I haven't called from my iphone.

It seems the "focus" of the new Google is even more data mining, not great products?

Hmmmm
post #30 of 51

Um, anybody remember Meebo? Google didn't do much with that multi platform messaging app. 

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobsonmartin View Post

I'm not sure if I quite understand this acquisition. Google's own developers could easily built its own cross platform messaging system in less than a month and therefore save Google $1B. This would be a GIANT waste of money.

I'm also not sure if I understand the draw of Whatsapp. SMS does practically the same thing and where that fails, Facebook messenger orMSN messenger fills in the gaps. Is Whatsapp just like a cross platform version of iMessages? I really don't get it.

 

Agreed.  I expect a lot of number of people in the Google development organization are reading about this and rolling their eyes (or more likely saying "this is @#$%").  A billion dollars to unify a few different communication standards into one app?  That borders on insanity.

post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I've never seen its equal in ugliness.

Sounds like two companies that were made to mate.
post #33 of 51
I never installed WhattsApp on my iPhone because possible data vulnerability. Apples iMessage has become so secure that CIA wants to get more rights to get access to it. Why the hell shall I use WA? I don't see any benefit than save some pennies for cross platform messages and that's not worth for the price of data leakage.
post #34 of 51
How long until Samsung comes out with their own cross-platform messaging service called What's Appening? Maybe they can get Fred Berry as a sponsor.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostkiwi View Post


Hmm... looks like I might stop using WhatsApp very soon. It is not an app that I think Apple should buy (how they let The Goog steal Sparrow out from under them I will never know), but I shall miss the cross platform ability. That is the only problem with iMessage, however Apple will probably never open that out to other platforms. It is a great system, but they want it as part of the iOS moat.

I think you are confusing google for apple. Google always makes cross platform apps. Look at search, Youtube, Maps, Google+, etc.(Even snapseed) Apple has not a single android app on the other hand. If this is finalized you will get a simple to use messaging service most likely tied into their other apps.  

post #36 of 51
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Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

If this is finalized you will get a simple to use messaging service most likely tied into their other apps.

That might be something people are afraid of.

--

^ lol@sol
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #37 of 51
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Originally Posted by camjknight View Post

Um, anybody remember Meebo? Google didn't do much with that multi platform messaging app. 

Yeah, good question. They bought Meebo long time ago and what's the use of it?

post #38 of 51
Has that same butt ugly appeals as IRC
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post


This is the interesting part. I don't have anything Google on my iPhone.

Since I let WhatsApp use my address book, does that mean that Google will get all the names, phone #s, and email addresses of everyone in my address book?

I'm not even a Google services user and they might data mine me? ...

 

Well you already got data mined. Never heard of the privacy mess that WA is?

I wouldn't touch WA with a 10 foot pole.

But that's me. I know many that have no issue with giving up their privacy.
 

post #40 of 51
I agree its all about getting more information on people and selling it to advertisers

I used Whatsapp on occasion but like anything else if Gooble take it I will delete the app
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