Facebook’s Expensive Acquisition of WhatsApp Takes over Social Media
WhatsApp describes itself as “a personal real-time messaging network allowing millions of people around the world to stay connected with their friends and family”. I personally see it as a text messaging replacement. The app is free to install, but users must pay $.99 a year to use it. WhatsApp currently has more than 450 million active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users.
Last Wednesday, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion in stock and cash. This is especially shocking because Facebook acquired Instagram just two years ago for $1 billion. The deal is one of the most costly acquisitions in recent mobile tech history. It’s about double the $8.5 billion Microsoft paid for Skype in 2011, and over five times the $2.9 billion Lenovo paid Google for Motorola last month.
There has been a massive amount of responses from the general public about Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest purchase. Some think that Facebook is absolutely crazy to have paid so much, while others are very enthusiastic and supportive. Here’s the most entertaining social media reaction I have found relating to the acquisition:
The founders of WhatsApp right now. (cc: @MikeIsaac) pic.twitter.com/8CzbbZpAoK
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 19, 2014
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently, and in the company’s own blog post, they made sure to point out that joining Facebook would not make a difference to its 450 million monthly active users. Personally, I have only used WhatsApp for a brief amount of time while I was in South Africa, where it seemed to be extremely popular. It was very easy to use and replaced my need and use of text messages entirely. I think that Facebook made a smart move acquiring WhatsApp, as it seems to have the potential to expand on a larger scale.