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Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp

 2:23 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

http://newsroom.fb.com/News/805/Facebook-to-Acquire-WhatsApp [newsroom.fb.com]

Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp

Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

Facebook just dropped $16 billion on this proprietary competitor to their Messenger service.



 3:00 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

That's like twice the GDP of Iceland.


 3:32 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

That Facebook bought WhatsApp is less of a surprise than the sheer amount it has been willing to pay for it.

Some are seeing the $19bn price tag as further evidence of swollen valuations of companies as the sector experiences what may yet prove to be another dot com bubble.

WhatsApp does give Mark Zuckerberg inroads into international markets and, as importantly, to a younger demographic. But what is less clear is whether the finances will add up in the long-term.

WhatsApp has reiterated its commitment to an ad-free service, opting to charge users a mere $1 per year. Under this scenario, it will need to continue its growth trajectory to ensure any financial return to Facebook.

But Adverts are pivotal to Facebook's own business model - and the pressure for it to monetise its new WhatsApp user base in the same way may prove too tempting to resist.

This is what my 17 year old niece uses in place of FB. And Instagram + a few other I'm not aware of, no doubt.

MZ must be reading these posts :) [webmasterworld.com...]

WhatsApp has around 50 employees in total.



 7:57 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

The problem is whether the teens will keep using Whatsapp, especially if there is any FB integration.

I can imagine FB in an endless cycle of acquisitions each time people move on to something new....


 9:50 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I knew this was cumming, thats also why I have always told family and friends not to join whatsapp.


 9:55 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

what bubble?

for perspective, this is more than twice what microsoft paid for all of nokia's mobile phone business and related patents.
or perhaps 6 months of exxon-mobil profit...


 10:23 am on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah the thing that worries me here is it reminds me of the bubble of several years ago when MCI Worldcom and PSINet were going around buying up the rights to Sports Stadiums while people were buying web properties on the number of views instead of revenue. We seem to value these APPs at the usage instead of revenue.


 6:02 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

People spending money who have no care for the value of money. The suckers are the stockholders who will always be footing the bill.
Makes me feel incredibly stupid of dropping out of Computer Science in college. Nerds certainly rule the world now.


 4:26 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Big media companies are spending big bucks to be a part of your kids lives, perhaps it's time for parents to insist on oversight at a more granular level. A guy in the Facebook ad sales department for example shouldn't get to decide what your 13 year old looks at on her ipad tonight, that's a parents job, yet many MANY shady diet and dating ads are all over facebook, still.

I'd love to see an app that fully blocks big media information gathering and ad serving on phones in the possession of anyone under 18. Until a parent has approved an ad the kid shouldn't see it. Period.


 9:53 am on Feb 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

My 11 year old now users Ghostery, so she at least knows who is tracking what. It also acts as a selective ad blocker, depending on what you choose to block.


 7:54 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the Facebook spending spree is sustainable. It seems that there much simply be so much enthusiasm for their stock that they can basically simply print money like this.

Has FB even had 16 Billion in revenue let along profits so long as it has been a company?

From some articles it sounds like G was interested too and might have paid an even higher price.


 9:46 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have noticed here, that many are talking about Threema messenger app after FB has acquired whatsapp and have also quitted there whatsapp.

Threeema is a secure messenger app from Swiss.


 10:33 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Threema gets good reviews, but its closed source nature is a bit of a problem for some. I found a decent review of some secure chat alternatives. [missingm.co]


 11:36 am on Feb 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks, that review is very useful, but there is still nothing that is really cross platform (desktop and mobile platforms please), open, and exists rather than promised, as far as I can see.


 1:33 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

If you're looking for desktop compatibility as well then ChatSecure works anywhere an XMPP client will work, but it's problematic to keep a connection open though.

If you don't care about security then Skype is very cross-platform.

I'd personally wait for a better secure option. Several secure clients have desktop on their development roadmaps apparently.


 1:44 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nerds certainly rule the world now.

And how well they have done (smirk).

These buy ups and buy outs will do little to slow the drain FB is seeing these days (teens, young adults). And this when they are finally getting their ad programs working... but even those on lagging.

G did it (nearly) right out of the gate: Let the Whole Wide World (ie, anyone with a website) do ads. FB is a closed universe... so all I can say is: (get ready)

Whatsapp about that?


 2:07 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Little problem today:

WhatsApp Outage [reuters.com]


 11:08 am on Feb 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

@bill, thanks. Will look properly at chatsecure.

Skype is what I want to move away from. I would rather just pick up the phone.


 9:36 am on Feb 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

On TV News yesterday they said that people are moving to new messenger systems like myenigma and threema be cause of security. The normal user dont want to be spied on 24 hours anymore. Thats also the way websites will go more Privacy, less sharing with 3rd parties.

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