WhatsApp squashes Facebook acquisition rumors

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WhatsApp denied it is in talks to sell its mobile messaging platform to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

TechCrunch reported this weekend that Facebook and WhatsApp recently entered acquisition talks, but a WhatsApp statement issued to AllThingsD yesterday declares "The TechCrunch article is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment." A separate statement from Facebook adds "We don't comment on rumors or speculation." TechCrunch has since updated its original article to note rumors indicating WhatsApp is looking at making talent acquisitions of its own.

Despite the denials, AllThingsD states that both Facebook and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have explored buying WhatsApp in the past, adding that Google Corporate Development Manager Neeraj Arora found the startup so compelling that in November 2011 he joined the WhatsApp staff and now holds the whimsical title Business Guy.

Priced at 99 cents, the ad-free WhatsApp Messenger application enables users to share text messages, voice notes, photos and videos with contacts across the globe, with no international messaging fees applied. The app spans mobile operating systems including Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Google's Android, Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, serving a reported 100 million daily active users across more than 100 international markets and 750 mobile networks.

Last month, advisory firm Analysys Mason called WhatsApp Messenger "the first large-scale cross-platform messaging app," noting that more than 45 percent of all smartphone owners now use some form of instant messaging or over-the-top messaging app in addition to or instead of traditional SMS. Despite mounting consumer interest in more feature-rich mobile messaging options like WhatsApp, Analysys Mason reports that 97 percent of subscribers still use SMS.

For more:
- read this AllThingsD article
- read this TechCrunch article

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