$1 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition Rumored For Google

Trivial social chitchat is perhaps worth a billion dollars.

Hot rumors are circulating that Google is in negotiations with non-SMS messaging service WhatsApp for a potential acquisition.

The price could push up toward a billion dollars.

According to a source who knows about the discussions, the WhatsApp team is trying to get Google to pay a higher price. It is also thought not to be the first time Google has made overtures like this.

Earlier rumors suggested Facebook was interested in the small company.

WhatsApp has experienced explosive international growth over the last year, reaching 7 billion inbound messages a day in January 2013. The company just confirmed it would also support BlackBerry 10..

WhatsApp is a platform-agnostic messaging service that behaves a little like SMSs—but using a smartphone's data channel, so it doesn't incur SMS fees from the carrier.

iMessage serves a similar function across Apple's entire range of computers. Facebook's Messages service has been promoted by Facebook for some time, and with the new Home Android front end Facebook's messaging systems will become even more prominent.

In light of this move, it's plausible Google could consider WhatsApp as a way to properly aggregate its chat functions into one system and rival Apple and Facebook.

Is the SMS doomed because of systems like WhatsApp or iMessage, do you think? Will you miss it (and its excessive network fees)?

[Image: Flickr user Murasam3]

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