Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WhatsApp denies $1bn Google takeover bid rumor

Over the past few years, companies with major internet presence have been competing to take over smaller start ups. Google has been among the biggest companies to have done so in the past few years having taken over the social networking site Orkut before it officially launched Google Plus. Given the sheer number of users accessing the web from mobiles, it was somehow inevitable that smaller app developers got taken over by large internet companies. 

Apparently, popular cross messenger service WhatsApp is the latest company to have received an offer from Google. According to rumors, the takeover bid from Google amounted to the tune of $1 billion though the owners and developers of the popular smartphone messenger service have denied all rumors that the negotiations had been entertained at all.

Many reputed industry watchers have reported that the company had been in negotiations with Google for over a month now though a member of the senior management team at WhatsApp has denied all such rumors. This is not the first time that the messaging app has received an alleged takeover bid from a large tech company. Back in December 2012, it was rumored that Facebook had approached the company with a big money takeover offer though WhatsApp officially stated that the rumor had no factual legs to stand on.

It is not entirely surprising to see bigger tech names try to take over the cross-platform smartphone messaging app as it apparently has current estimated annual earnings of around $100 million. In the small time that the messaging service has been active, it has built up quite a presence for itself on the mobile platform. The service is supported by 750 mobile networks in 100 countries around the world at the moment where an estimated 18 billion messages are exchanged between users each day.

Both Google and Facebook have built up something a reputation for themselves in the takeover market where the companies have shown particular aggression in taking over popular platforms over the past few years which has served their interests well though users that have been using these apps from the start have complained about how these takeovers have affected the interface of these apps.

Last year, Facebook took over the popular photo sharing website Instagram for a billion bucks flat. The Facebook for Every Phone app that formed the basis for the social network’s mobile platform was born out of the popular mobile app called Snaptu that basically allowed users to add and access a number of other services along with Facebook in its basic format. However, the takeover meant that the app could only be used by users to access nothing more than Facebook.

Fans of WhatsApp have already begun voicing their concerns about whether a takeover by a popular tech giant would force the cross-platform messaging app to be transformed into a platform that is inevitably linked to Google Plus or Facebook whether the user wants to link their usage of the app to these accounts or not.


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