Google Close to Acquiring WhatsApp for $1 Billion?
While the deal started four or five weeks ago, we’ve been told that WhatsApp is “playing hardball” and jockeying for a higher acquisition price, which currently is “close to” $1 billion right now.
WhatsApp Messenger is currently a $0.99 app in the App Store, but the company has announced that it will be shifting to a subscription model later this year under which the app would likely be free for the first year and $0.99/year thereafter. The subscription model is already in use on the company's Android and Windows Phone apps.
WhatsApp Messenger consistently ranks at or near the top of Apple's charts for Top Paid apps in countries around the world, and is in fact currently in the #1 position in the U.S. App Store.
The service is one of many messaging services available on iOS and other mobile platforms, including Apple's own iMessage service integrated into iOS and OS X. Such services have become increasingly popular as users seek to avoid mobile carriers' SMS charges and expand their conversations to include devices not directly connected to cellular service.