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Google buying WhatsApp for $1 billion?

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Google is said to be deep in negotiations with WhatsApp, with the search engine giant reportedly looking to buy the cross-platform messaging app for $1 billion (£653 million).

Sources close to these talks have said the WhatsApp team are “playing hardball”, holding out for an price closer to the $1 billion (£653 million) marker.

If Google did acquire WhatsApp, it could serve as a product to unify its current collection of messaging services: Google Voice, Google Hangouts and Google Talk to name just a few. This could potentially bring it into line with communication rival Facebook.

Reportedly working on a messaging service called Google Babel, such a service would have to do something innovative to compete with other cross-platform message systems, including WhatsApp, Skype and Viber.

Having the WhatsApp team on board, Google could utilise their skills to make its future messaging service more successful and cutting edge.

WhatsApp is currently the most popular paid app in Apple’s iTunes App Store for the iPhone, and has tens of millions of users across iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices. On New Year’s Eve last year, Whatsapp users sent 18 billion messages using the service.

Google has approached WhatsApp before to acquire the service, which serves to solidify the current acquisition rumours. Facebook has also said it is keen to buy WhatsApp and made a similar approach to the cross-platform messaging service.

Sources speaking to Digital Trends have suggest that WhatsApp makes around $100 million (£65.3 million) per annum in revenue, coming from its $0.99 or £0.69 yearly subscription fee and international telecommunications company partnership. For example, WhatsApp has a monthly local plan in place with Hong Kong network provider 3 HK.

Founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who were both long-term Yahoo employees, WhatsApp has seen its users send an average 1 billion messages a day.

WhatsApp has declined to comment, offering only the statement that it has “no further information to share at the moment.”

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