Yesterday a TechCrunch report had quoted sources from Facebook and WhatsApp to state that the social media giant was interested in buying the free messaging mobile app. But now WhatsApp has come out to deny the story.
In a statement to VentureBeat, the company’s business head Neeraj Arora said, “The TechCrunch article is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment.”
To say the WhatsApp messaging service is a big hit is an understatement. In October 2011, the service said its users were sending over 1 billion messages in a single day. That roughly translates to 41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second.
So if it were true, would a WhatsApp – Facebook deal make sense?
Well yes if you are Facebook, since mobile is where Facebook’s future lies. As Facebook’s Q3 results for 2012 showed that mobile ads had finally worked for the site and helped bring in nearly 14 percent of the revenue for the site came from mobile ads. “I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can’t make money on mobile,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a conference call with analysts. “This may (have seemed) true earlier this year because we hadn’t started trying yet.”
Revenue for Facebook rose 32 percent to $1.26 billion, which was higher than the $1.23 billion that analysts had expected.
But not everyone thinks this is match made in heaven. As this article in Forbes points out, In a given decade in technology, there are only a handful of companies that come along that have a chance to plot a course to stay independent and end up exerting an enormous influence on the rest of the tech ecosystem. Facebook was one. Twitter was one. And WhatsApp is one.
In other words WhatsApp in a great idea and has its success proves that selling it to Facebook won’t be the smartest move.
This piece on TheNextWeb argues that Facebook should’t buy WhatsApp but invest in mobile messaging instead. The author believes that WhatsApp might be one of the fastest growing apps but given the fact it has steadfastly refused to give out numbers unlike other chat/messaging platforms, such as, Kakao Talk (65 million), Line (75 million), Nimbuzz (100 million) and even Kik (30 million), it makes sense for Facebook to invest in another platform.
Users also need to remember that if Facebook does buy WhatsApp, it will have to monetise the service and currently WhatsApp doesn’t have an ads. If there is such a deal be prepared for some.
Whatsapp is available for Android, iPhone, Windows, BlackBerry and Symbian users.