Social media giant Facebook is reportedly rumoured to be interested in acquiring the Whatsapp messaging service.

Digital news site TechCrunch published an article claiming a potential buyout was in the offing.

However, both Facebook and Whatsapp have quickly moved to distance themselves from the matter.

Whatsapp is a text communication service, similar to programmes such as Skype or Windows Messenger, which allows users to message their friends for free after downloading the app. It uses mobile phone numbers to send text messages between recipients: and as its free, essentially usurps the need for mobile users to pay for texts.

It has been particularly successful as it allows users to not only text friends, but also share pictures and videos as well.

Stats released by the firm last year suggested over one billion messages were sent a day through its service

In a statement issued to AllThingsD, Whatsapp wrote: “The TechCrunch article is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recetnly spoke about the firm’s future lying in mobile devices, but the firm has refused to comment on rumours of possible interest in buying Whatsapp.

That said, as its current chat system is completely free, if Facebook were to offer Whatsapp services to users, it could provide new revenue, away from the model of social media marketing: something Facebook may need to consider as its public stock continues to dwindle.

Apple customers have to pay $0.99USD for Whatsapp, Android users get it free for a year before having to pay.

It has been suggested by TechCrunch that over one hundred countries use the service on an impressive 750 mobile networks, across many operating systems including Android and iOS.

The service is rumoured to be preparing for a translation into many new languages.

Since its creation, Whatsapp has been downloaded more than a hundred million times from Google’s Play Store, and that is only for the Android service.

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