FACEBOOK reportedly offered at least $US3 billion to purchase Snapchat, the rapidly growing messaging services, but was turned down.

Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder and chief executive, is unlikely to consider an acquisition or an investment until early next year, people briefed on the matter said.

They said Mr Spiegel is hoping Snapchat’s numbers – of users and messages – will grow enough by then to justify an even larger valuation.

Snapchat also turned down an investment from Chinese e-commerce investor Tencent Holdings that would have valued the two-year-old company at $US4 billion.

Snapchat specialises in text and picture mobile messages that disappear after a few seconds. The company has not generated any revenue, but is becoming very popular, particularly among people who are starting to be concerned about how much privacy they have online and on their phones.

It comes as Twitter, an unprofitable short-messaging service, was valued at $US25 billion following its initial public offering last week. Pinterest, an image-sharing app, also has no revenue but is valued at $US3.8 billion.

The Facebook offer was at least its second, the Wall Street Journal said, after an earlier $US1 billion bid.

Facebook paid $US1 billion for photo-sharing social network Instagram in 2010.

source: news.com.au