WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum speaks at our D: Dive Into Mobile conference in New York next week (this is one of the sessions that’s being livestreamed; more details on that soon).
WhatsApp has been the subject of similar rumors before, but with Facebook as the rumored buyer in December. At the time, the company said the reports were “not factually accurate.”
WhatsApp is one of the most popular mobile apps in the world, with a very simple formula of cross-platform messaging (mostly text, but also photo, video, audio and location sharing). The app costs 99 cents on iOS and, in some countries, the service costs 99 cents per year on Android.”
In fact Google needs more of Whatsapp than Whatsapp needs Google. The application is popular enough and is so widespread that marked the death of SMS in various markets. It holds up well the pressure from its rivals despite suffering comparative shortcomings as a desktop application.
But Google, despite its strength and prestige, is not clearly dominant in the instant messaging market, a market that would allow them to continue doing data collection to show ads related after.