Digital Trends reports hearing from an inside source that Google has been in talks to buy the hugely popular messaging app for the past few weeks and the current offer is said to be “close to” $1 billion.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Facebook was rumored to be interested in buying WhatsApp at the end of last year, though the price tag was never publicized for that rumor. If the $1 billion figure is correct, it would put WhatsApp in the same ballpark as Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook last year.
WhatsApp is the most popular of a new crop of mobile messaging apps that some say pose a threat to bigger companies like Facebook and Google. The app, which lets users send messages for free across smartphone platforms, launched in 2009 and has tens of millions of users.
It’s currently the No. 1 app in Apple’s App Store in dozens of countries, according to data from AppAnnie, and it has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google Play.