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back to article WhatsApp exec: Google takeover? It's news to me

WhatsApp's business development head Neeraj Arora has squashed rumours that Google was keen to spend $1bn on popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Arora spoke to All Things D after furious speculation that the Chocolate Factory had been negotiating with the cross-platform messaging app. The gossip was sparked by tech blog …

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I love WhatsApp but I'm not sure how good a business it is. With a one-off 79c purchase price it becomes a victim of its own success, supporting a larger and larger user base with no recurring revenue.

Somebody like Google could do a better job of monetizing the user base but at the risk of alienating them. Facebook has become a no-go for me since the ads turned up.

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Silver badge

It was only one-off for iPhone and it's not one-off any more, you pay once a year unless they decide to renew your subscription for you as you're in the right market at the right time. I'm still not sure how one user's bandwidth can be paid for for less than a pound/dollar/euro a year. Answers on a postcard...

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure how good a business it is

If you're a US 3 letter agency wanting to intercept SMS, you'd need to obtain that from the local phone company your target is a member of.

Thanks to WhatsApp, all you need now is to walk into a US company without as much as a warrant and you can get intercept data from anywhere in the world. And you're asking what's in it for them?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Google Talk

"The attraction of WhatsApp is that it can be used across iOS and Android, or even on BlackBerry or Windows"

Errm like Google Talk you mean??

Seriously, Google should save their money, use $1bn to promote the already vastly superior Google Talk platform that's based on the totally open (and pretty much standard) XMPP (Jabber) protocol.

Every Android phone and tablet has this built in, it does Video, Voice and Text chat, and has clients available for almost everything under the sun, it also fully interoperates with other Jabber clients.

So what would Google achieve with 1bn? Not much.

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Re: Google Talk

As it happens WhatsApp is also based on XMPP.

But they're not buying the technology, they're buying the users.

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FAIL

Re: Google Talk

I'd rather Google focused on making the rest of their services available to all and sundry and not just the US.

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Alert

Please don't ruin it

If one of the 'big players' does take it over please don't ruin it - look what they did to Skype. At the moment it is simple to use and there is no fluff, adverts or any other distractions. Just a nice clean way to send messages and pictures to an individual or group.

That is all

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i agree with fireman sam. WhatsApp has no predictable income stream from recurring fees, nor any other way of generating profit with the product as it is now.

Sooner or later they will take an offer, if the figure is high enough, and they'd be stupid not to.

That said, if Google or Facebook buy it, I'm out of there, because the next subsequent update will create the link between already known data (from Google's/FB's point of view) about you, and your phone number (which they may not yet know). That is also the reason why WhatsApp could be worth a hell lot of money for those companies.

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Holmes

Viber

My question is why are people using WhatsApp when Viber does everything WhatsApp does plus voice over data as well and just like WhatsApp its tied in to your mobile number.

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Facepalm

Re: Viber

Agreed!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Viber

I use neither. Both are unencrypted (and the people at Viber will readily admit to that if you ask them) and are of US origin, thus not at all trustworthy.

Bargepole, no touching, etc.

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Stop

Nah

Why would they want it? There are countries in Europe about to rip it's guts out for DPA violations.

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Re: Nah

IIRC YouTube was going through a spot of legal bother over piracy when Google bought it yet that didn't stop them.

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Joke

Obvious Mashup

between Google Docs and WhatsApp to produce the word processor designed just for Bugs Bunny: WhatsApp Doc...

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