Chances are, if you’re a social butterfly with a smartphone, you’ve come across WhatsApp: the cross-platform instant messaging service, at one time or another. It now looks as though this popular service might get snapped up by social networking giant, Facebook.
A source informed TechCrunch that ad-free paid app could serve as a useful addition to Facebook’s portfolio, with the previous acquisition of popular social photography app Instagram grabbing headlines after procurement of the 12-man strong company came to $1 billion. This latest scenario follows on from Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stating that for his company, “the big thing is obviously going to be mobile. ”
Currently, Facebook is already accessible as a mobile website and a mobile app across a broad spectrum of mobile devices, from iOS to Nokia S40 and indeed the company have worked to produce a more accessible chat service of their own, transforming ‘Messages’ closer to what WhatsApp’s service has always offered on mobile devices. Meanwhile WhatApp has proven to be hugely popular in its own right, with versions of their app available across the five major mobile operating systems, with some 100 million active daily users.
With regards to an acquisition, there’s nothing official as to if and when a deal may go down, but WhatApp would likely serve as a great asset in Facebook’s eyes, with their most recent figures reporting that they host over 1 billion messages a day (as of October 2011), which translates to 11,574 a second.