Did Snapchat turn down a $3 billion offer from Facebook?

Did Snapchat really turn down an offer from Facebook to buy the popular messaging service for $3 billion? That’s what the Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing unnamed “people briefed on the matter.”

The report may demonstrate the growing interest around new social media and online messaging services, according to the Journal.  But it also underscores recurring speculation that  younger Internet users are drifting away from Facebook in favor of those newer upstarts.

Facebook, you may remember, paid $1 billion last year to buy Instagram, another potential rival that’s popular with the younger set. So many are wondering if Facebook’s even more generous offer for Snapchat is a sign the world’s largest social network is worried about yet another competitor.

The report’s drawing plenty of buzz on Twitter, with some expressing surprise at the size of the offer, and others drawing a parallel to reports a few years back that Google offered $6 billion in an unsuccessful bid to buy Groupon – which isn’t doing so well these days.

And there were lots of jokes playing off Snapchat’s signature feature – images sent on the service can disappear after ten seconds, rather than lingering on forever. (Note, this tweet isn’t serious):

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (325 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.