Facebook is eyeing WhatsApp as its next big “Instagram” type acquisition, according to industry reports. WhatsApp is a popular mobile messaging service that is available to iPhone, Android, and other smartphone users.
Founded in 2009, the free service now delivers 10 billion messages per day and currently has “tens of millions” of daily active users who span more than 100 countries.
Facebook would likely use the acquisition to expand its brand into new countries where the social network has yet to gain mass appeal. The acquisition would also give Facebook a stronger presence in mobile, an important sector for the company’s user acquisition and revenue efforts.
While Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram, it is unlikely that WhatsApp will demand anywhere close to that pricing. Instagram had just completed a $50 million funding round before its acquisition, giving the company a $500 million valuation. Last year, WhatsApp raised a still respectable $8 million, and its valuation has never been revealed.
As the company has done in the past, Facebook has not provided further details, instead noting:
“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
WhatsApp has also not yet confirmed the rumor or provided further details regarding the acquisition.
It’s still unclear what Facebook would do with its own Facebook Messenger app should the acquisition be completed. It is likely that both apps would continue to work independently of one another. For example, Facebook filters were added after the acquisition of Instagram, but the Instagram platform continues to stand on the power of its own two feet.