Today I learned that this past week Facebook entered into an agreement to buy WhatsApp, a popular messaging App for $19 billion in cash and stocks. Personally I have never heard of WhatsApp before, but apparently it has a huge following of about 450 million people that use it daily. I feel completely oblivious due to the fact that I am just now learning about it.
Facebook alone is crazy successful, they have millions of followers that not only use their social media site, but also use its messaging application, Facebook Messenger to communicate directly to other users. Additionally Facebook owns the popular photography sharing application, Instagram which as of 2013 has over a 100 million active users. Now, Facebook has just bought WhatsApp currently ranked as the fastest growing application on the market, including that of Twitter, Skype, and Facebook. The forecast is predicted to continue in the same direction of success.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
Unlike most of the social media apps or website we use, WhatsApp does not earn income through annoying advertising tactics. Instead, this messaging app is completely free for the first year of use, but after the one year users are expected to pay a grand total of .99 for a yearly subscription in order to retain access. I think this is a pretty awesome way to make money without hassling users with unwanted advertisements. I would pay .99 a year to avoid advertisements.
Additionally, Facebook has agreed to continue to keep WhatsApp independent from internal integration. Similar to the way Facebook has been using Instagram since it joined the Facebook team in 2012. Personally I think it would be a mistake for Facebook to integrate Instragram, and WhatsApp via Facebook. Too much going on in one place would be a nightmare for me to navigate. Facebook has already seen a lot of growth and success from how they have kept Instagram and Facebook platforms separate, so they are sticking with the same game plan with WhatsApp.
This is all fine and great for Facebook, but when I think about the mass market that Facebook is buying up I can’t help but have a feeling of concern in my stomach. Facebook Messenger in combination with its newly acquired WhatsApp now owns 79% of the Instant messaging market. Understanding that Facebook is now the dominant force in the messaging game, and recognizing that it also owns the photo app Instagram, and that Facebook continues to be a powerhouse as a social media hub I start to wonder if Facebook is starting to gain too much power? Is it good or bad that some of the most popular applications are owned under one roof?
What do you think about Facebook being the most dominant online triple threat to date?
Retrieved from: http://mashable.com/2014/02/19/facebook-whatsapp/