Social network Facebook in talks to acquire Whatsapp — report

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US social media platform Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly in discussions to buy cross-platform mobile messaging application Whatsapp, Techcrunch said on Monday, citing sources in the know.

The deal would allow Facebook to strengthen its relations with mobile users given the technology’s increasing adoption among people. Adding Whatsapp to its portfolio of companies will also complement Facebook’s aim to expand its geographic presence by taking advantage of the messaging apps’ use in a broad number of countries where consumers use 750 mobile networks.

According to Techcrunch data, the app is used by 100m people on a daily basis. Whatsapp estimates from October 2011 show that a total 1bn messages are sent through its channels everyday.

Whatsapp is currently the second most popular paid app in Apple’s App Store in the US, where it is sold at a price of USD0.99 (EUR0.759). On Google’s Play Android store it could be downloaded for free in the first year and then requiring an annual payment of USD0.99. Google data suggests that so far between 100m and 500m Android users have downloaded the app.

Both Facebook and the Whatsapp founders were not immediately available to comment on the report.

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