A rumour is doing the rounds that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be eyeing top messaging app WhatsApp as a likely acquisition to plug what is clearly missing in its mobile strategy – a solid mobile messaging service. An article in digitaltrends.com cites sources to claim that discussions started for five weeks ago and that a deal could probably figure around the $1 billion mark. With communication services clearly the route to mobile monetisation, there has been speculation that Google would like to consolidate its different channels under one roof, such as Google Babel, and WhatsApp could be the candidate of choice. It has a massive user base that straddles over a 100 countries and 750 mobile networks and is clearly highly popular because it has consistently ranked as the number one paid app across over a 100 countries. It also has a revenue model in place with an attractive annual $0.99 subscription scheme and lucrative tie ups with various international telcos. If 2012 was the year for the acquisition of photo sharing apps, 2013 could well be the year for acquisitions in the messaging and social communications field, and a Google-WhatsApp deal could set the ball rolling.