Google Isn’t Buying WhatsApp

An exec at WhatsApp shot down a rumor going around Monday that Google was in talks to buy the company for $1 billion.

The report, in Digital Trends, cited an inside source who said that Google has been in talks to buy the hugely popular messaging app for the past few weeks and the current offer is said to be “close to” $1 billion.

However, Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s business development head, told AllThingsD that the supposed acquisition isn’t happening. Arora could not be reached for further comment despite multiple requests.

The Google rumor comes after a report surfaced in December charging Facebook was rumoredto be interested in buying WhatsApp, though no price was mentioned. If the $1 billion figure is correct, it would put WhatsApp in the same ballpark as Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook last year.

WhatsApp is the most popular of a new crop of mobile messaging apps that some say pose a threat to bigger companies like Facebook and Google. The app, which lets users send messages for free across smartphone platforms, launched in 2009 and has tens of millions of users. It’s currently the No. 1 app in Apple’s App Store in dozens of countries, according to data from AppAnnie, and it has been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google Play.

Image courtesy of WhatsApp