NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Late last year I wrote that messaging was going to be one of the "sleeper" ideas of this year.
Well, after Facebook (FB) announced this week that it would buy WhatsApp for $19 billion, I'd have to say that the secret is out. This isn't a sleeper idea anymore. Messaging has arrived.
So if Google (GOOG) lost out in the battle for WhatsApp, where might it turn next to beef up its messaging offering? I think there are going to be two offerings that get a lot of attention over the next few months from potential buyers -- and they're both based in Waterloo, Canada.
One is BlackBerry BBRY, with its BBM. The other is a private company called Kik, headed by Ted Livingston, which I'll discuss in detail later.
BBM should have been WhatsApp. It was the beloved messenger app for so many years and responsible for BlackBerry's incredible loyalty from its users. Yet, it never opened itself up to non-BlackBerry users until just last year.
At the time it went cross-platform, it announced a flurry of new accounts taking the user total up to 80 million. It's thought that the numbers are now up to 100 million -- similar to Kik's.