Last week, group messaging service WhatsApp started cryptically talking about mangoes on its Twitter feed, prompting speculation that the popular IM client was poised to launch with the latest version of Windows Phone 7, dubbed “Mango”. Today, reports have hit the web that the app has already surfaced on the Marketplace.

Both Redmond Pie and WMPowerUser report that WhatsApp is now available to download on Windows Phone devices, though it appears is only available for Mango beta testers right now: certainly it’s not showing on our UK Windows Phone device just yet.

We’re big fans of WhatsApp here at Electricpig, which lets you chat one to one or in groups, using your data allowance rather than meagre text message bundle. The premise is very similar to BlackBerry Messenger in that your contact is tied to your number rather than a log-in, and always on in the background (if you want it to be). Since they run across multiple platforms (WhatsApp is already available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian phones), they’re a major threat to RIM, which uses its BBM service as a big USP in advertising.

Its other main rivals are Kik Messenger (already on Windows Phone), which was infamously booted off BlackBerry and sued for allegedly stealing trade secrets, and iMessage, Apple’s upcoming service for iOS 5 devices. The latter isn’t tied to a phone number so could still find traction in a market where critical mass is everything.

We’ve contacted WhatApp for more details on a Windows Phone app, and will update when we hear back.

Out TBC | £TBC | WhatsApp

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