You can write off the latest rumor about a potential suitor for the popular messaging app WhatsApp.
The company’s business development head, Neeraj Arora, confirmed to AllThingsD last night that WhatsApp isn’t in sales talks with Google. A report from Sunday claimed that Google was willing to pay $1 billion for WhatsApp, but that was based on statements from a single anonymous source.
Arora’s statements don’t rule out an eventual deal with Google — especially if Facebook starts negotiating an acquisition of WhatsApp, something that’s been rumored in the past. There’s no doubt that WhatsApp is one of the hottest apps right now, given that it’s the fifth highest revenue earner on the iTunes App Store and seventh on Google Play.
Facebook is still being threatened by messaging apps, so it makes sense for it to acquire WhatsApp or one of its competitors (like Kik or SnapChat). The social network already acquired messaging app Beluga a few years ago, but it looks like that deal was mostly for engineers to build out Facebook’s own messaging platform. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook is eyeing WhatsApp as well just to snap up its users (said to be over 100 million) and fast growth.
After all, Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram before it even had a revenue model. On paper, at least, WhatsApp seems far more valuable.