Facebook in talks to acquire WhatsApp?

Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire instant messaging company WhatsApp, in a deal that would combine two of the largest OTT players.

Tech news site TechCrunch reported the two were in discussions yesterday, citing sources close to the matter.

The deal would make sense for the social media giant, as mobile becomes increasingly important for reaching new users.

No information was given as to the potential price of the acquisition or at what stage the deal is at.

The publication said that WhatsApp’s footprints fits with Facebook’s focus on international/emerging markets, with the instant messaging company boasting users across 750 mobile networks and all of the major mobile operating systems.

WhatsApp has an estimated 100 million daily active users and when it last updated its usage numbers in October 2011, was serving one billion messages per day.

The company is also eyeing expansion by looking for translators in dozens of languages.

Unlike Facebook, WhatsApp is an ad-free paid application, selling for $0.99 in Apple’s App store and free for the first year and $0.99 per year after on Google’s Play store.

This different business approach could prove attractive to Facebook which has been criticised over its increasingly intrusive advertising strategy as its looks to generate revenue.

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