Why is Facebook paying ‘$19 billion’ to buy WhatsApp?
The news of social networking site Facebook buying the mobile messaging app WhatsApp for a whooping $19 billion had made the readers gasp with amazement and awe. This is by far the largest acquisition made by Facebook, much larger than Google’s Motorola Mobility takeover for $12.5 billion.
It is natural to ask why is Facebook paying such a large amount to buy WhatsApp? Here is why Facebook did so:
- Anything in the world can be brought, even brilliant ideas: Money can buy you anything and everything. It can even buy for you some brilliant ideas. WhatsApp was one such idea which posed threat to Facebook. WhatsApp had grown in popularity and bored Facebook users wanted something new. The founders of WhatsApp Jan Koum and Brian Acton had started WhatsApp with the idea of providing a fun-to-use messaging service. The company was committed to stay focused on building a pure messaging experience that contains no ads, no games and no gimmicks.
- If you can’t win your enemies, then make them thy allies: The growing popularity of WhatsApp had become a threat to Facebook. Gradually, Facebook users started using WhatsApp to enjoy a different experience. As a result, active users on Facebook declined. Moreover, although both the companies are California-based, WhatsApp had attracted huge international crowd which Facebook longed for. To combat WhatsApp, Facebook launched its messaging app by the name of Facebook Messenger. It too got millions of users but could not impede WhatsApp growth. So finally, Facebook decided to buy WhatsApp.
- Anyone would have fallen for ‘$19 billion’: A bird in hand is better than the two in bush. WhatsApp founders happily grabbed the opportunity to earn in billions by selling the company to Facebook. But now they will be away from all the limelight they would have got as a separate successful startup. Facebook attacked on the weak point of WhatsApp’s founders, which is a desire to amass huge wealth instantly.
- Popular: Facebook has over 1.2 billion users while WhatsApp has roughly 450 million active users per month. Also about a million users join WhatsApp everyday. So, it will reach the one billion user mark very soon.
- Revenue generating: Facebook launched its Messenger as a free service. However, as WhatsApp loathes advertisements, it came up with another brilliant idea of generating revenue. WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After, the subscription can be extended for $0.99 per year.
- Feature rich: WhatsApp has more features than Facebook Messenger. One is able to send text, image, audio, vedio, location and contact details with WhatsApp much easily.
Thus Facebook’s step to acquire WhatsApp reeks of competitive jealousy and insecurities. It seems that Mark Zuckerberg will do anything to save Facebook from degrading and keeping the craze alive. We can expect Facebook to integrate itself with WhatsApp to send text messages to Facebook friends.