WhatsApp denies Facebook is set to buy it

Multi-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp has refuted claims that social networking giant Facebook is negotiating to acquire it, calling the assertions “not factually accurate.”

WhatsApp’s head of business Neeraj Arora in a statement said: “The TechCrunch article is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment.”

The story had suggested WhatsApp has been in talks to be acquired by Facebook, “according to sources close to the matter.”

From Arora’s statement, “the rumor is not factually accurate”. Experts believe that negotiations could be ongoing, since he did not come out to categorically decline that no talks were in progress.

WhatsApp is one of the largest mobile apps in the world, with users in over a hundred countries covering 750 mobile networks, on the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S40, Symbian and Windows Phone platforms.

It serves ten billion messages per day, with 100 active users daily. It is also the number two paid app on Apple’s App Store, where it goes for US$0.99. The app has also had between 100 million and 500 million installs on Google’s Play Android store with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 by the users who download it.

WhatsApp makes money mostly out of charging the US$0.99 for its iPhone app. The company provides the app for free within the first year of usage on the other platforms, but charges the same price of US$0.99 after the lapse of the time.

WhatsApp does not support advertising, with the company’s CEO Jan Koum saying in a blog post: “Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.”

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