The move is seen to be in line with Facebook’s continual move into domination of the mobile market.

Whatsapp’s runaway popularity since it was founded in 2009 has led to an estimated 100 million daily users around the world – Facebook is said to be keen to move in and grab this user base to increase their dominance of the market, according to industry rumours reported on Techcrunch.

The last officially released record of the number of messages sent via Whatsapp was in October 2011 when the company claimed that an astonishing 1 billion messages were being sent via its service.

The app is free for the first year on Android and costs 99p on the Apple app store.

Jon Russell of The Next Web disagreed that it would be a sound business move, saying “it [Facebook] would do better to look at a fresher (and less expensive) rival, or bring real-time chat features and other improvements to its own messaging app, which it bolstered when it bought Beluga.”

Whatsapp has previously been accused of security risks and tech bloggers have suggested that messages can be easily intercepted and read by hackers, according to CNET.

WhatsApp have yet to make a statement about the rumours.