updated 04:18 pm EDT, Sun April 7, 2013
Rumor has Google thinking of buying WhatsApp
Popular messaging app WhatsApp is the subject of acquisition rumors yet again, this time with search giant Google said to be considering buying the app for as much as $1 billion. The move is said to be part of a wider push by Google to solidify its standing in the mobile messaging sector, and it could play a role in the development of the company's unified chat service Babble.
Digital Trends carried word of the acquisition rumor on Friday, noting that WhatApp's team is reportedly "playing hardball" and holding out for a higher acquisition price. Sources familiar the negotiations say that WhatsApp's team is pushing for a price tag close to $1 billion.
WhatsApp reportedly caught the attention of Google late last year, around the time that Facebook was also said to be considering buying the app. The app is currently the number one paid app in more than 100 countries, having seen 18 billion messages processed in one day on December 31.