Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Facebook and WhatsApp. What's Up with That?

Last Wednesday, Facebook made news by announcing the purchase of a popular messaging app thats available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia called WhatsApp.  This is the largest purchase that Facebook has ever made -costing a whopping $19 billion.  Just for comparison, the last purchase Facebook made was in 2012, buying Instagram for $1 billion.  Google offered to buy WhatsApp but the $10 billion offer was turned down.

WhatsApp is very popular - about 450 million people use its service each month.  WhatsApp is a great messing tool because it has the ability to message people without being charged like a standard SMS.  Facebook's Messenger app works the same way, connecting millions of users on multiple platforms through this data-based messaging.

So the question is, why would Facebook want to buy virtually the same service?

Mark Zuckerberg announced the next day, that Facebook's mission "is to make the world more open and connected." Read more of his statement here.

Brian Grenne, a writer and editor for PR News translates this as "We want to own the Internet and what you do on it you will do through us. Or, more to the point, we want to know everything you say and do on mobile because we think mobiles the future." For Facebook, it's not about the money. It's about influence and control.

According to WhatsApp chief executive, Jan Koum, WhatsApp has the plan of adding voice calls to its production the second quarter of this year.

In 2012, when rumors were circulating about the potential purchase, Distimo came out with a report showing WhatsApp's popularity globally in comparison to Facebook. 

Check out this picture from 2012 below.

These are some pretty bold moves for Facebook! What is Facebook going to do next? Let us know what you think! 

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