Facebook Buy WhatsApp: What will Change?

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Facebook buy WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars

Facebook buy WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars

I was surprised when I switch on TV and watched the news: Facebook to acquire WhatsApp.

The world’s largest social network is buying the world’s most popular messaging app for a jaw-dropping total of $19 billion USD ($4 billion cash + $12 billion stock + $3 billion restricted stock units).

Heck, I do not even know how many ‘Zero’ in a billion! It is a huge amount! Facebook spent only 1 billion to buy Instagram – a photo-sharing app – in 2012.

Facebook and WhatsApp are two services I use daily, the must-have apps on my phone, and (almost) can not live without them.

Facebook is how I am still keep in touch with friends and get to know their latest news. WhatsApp is how my friends and I send messages to each other.

Nowadays, I am expecting text messages to send via WhatsApp, not SMS.

How will Facebook change WhatsApp?

Jan Koum signs the $19 billion Facebook deal paperwork on the door of his old welfare office in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Jan Koum)

Jan Koum signs the $19 billion Facebook deal paperwork on the door of his old welfare office in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Jan Koum) [via Forbes]

Jan Koum signs the $19 billion Facebook deal paperwork on the door of his old welfare office in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Jan Koum)

WhatsApp is ads-free and free to use for 1st year. After 1 year, new users need to pay $0.99 USD per year to use the app.

WhatsApp should be FREE for everyone after Facebook buy it, right? Unfortunately, the answer is “NO”.

Facebook could waive WhatsApp $1 subscription fee and make it free like other Facebook products, but choose not to.

“Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing”, says WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum

Good news and bad news.

Good news: WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and get to keep its brand.

Bad news: WhatsApp will remain ad-free and still charging users $1 per year.

($1 per year for sending unlimited messages & photos to family & friends is CHEAP!)

Unlike other popular messaging apps (Line, Viber, WeChat, Facebook Messenger), WhatsApp is ad-free and does not have other gimmicks – games, stickers, official accounts, etc – to increase revenue.

WhatsApp’s one and only revenue source is the low annual subscription fee.

Thoughts

After I posted the facebook-whatsapp deal on my Facebook, my friend sent a WhatsApp message to me:

“Facebook buys WhatsApp? Hopefully it makes it better, not killing it.”

I think that’s the main concern of every WhatsApp users. Glad that both Facebook and WhatsApp co-founder promise WhatsApp will operate independently.

I expect to see tighter contacts integration between Facebook and WhatsApp, like Instagram and Facebook. Example: add facebook friends to WhatsApp; find WhatsApp friends on facebook.

Do you know that…

  • WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly active users and 1 million new sign-ups per day.
  • 18 billion messages were sent daily via WhatsApp network in January 2014, which is very close to global SMS sent daily (19.5 billion).
  • WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton, was working at Yahoo! and was rejected by Facebook and Twitter.
  • Another messaging app, Viber – over 100 million monthly active users – was aquaired by Rakuten for $900 million last week on Feb 14, 2014.

What do you think about Facebook-WhatsApp $19 Billion deal? Please tell us in the comment.

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