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Seeking to corner messaging on phones, Web, Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Most popular messaging app for Smartphone, WhatsApp is highly coveted acquisition

In a bid to have the heaviest presence on messaging on phones and the Web, Facebook has purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion. By far the most popular messaging app for Smartphones, WhatsApp is among the most highly coveted tools in the Internet world. 

Facebook probably bought WhatsApp to add value to its existing messaging services.

Facebook probably bought WhatsApp to add value to its existing messaging services.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: WhatsApp, Facebook, acquisition


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Even more remarkable is the price tag for the five-year old company. WhatsApp has gone toe-to-toe with such messaging heavyweights like Twitter, Google and Microsoft's Skype. WhatsApp has upwards of 450 million users, and it is adding an additional million users every day.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call, "No one in the history of the world has done anything like that," remarking on WhatsApp's rapid climb to success.

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Buying WhatsApp will serve to strengthen Facebook's already strong position in the crowded messaging world. Messenger, Facebook's a standalone messaging app for mobile devices, is second only to WhatsApp in its share of the Smartphone market.

WhatsApp allows people to connect via their cell phone numbers in the manner of traditional text messaging. Instead of racking up texting fees, WhatsApp sends the actual messages over mobile broadband, which makes WhatsApp cost effective for communicating with people overseas.

This particular brand of mobile messaging services has become highly popular, with twice as many messages sent over the mobile Internet than via traditional texts. The majority of the messaging industry's revenue is still driven by text messaging.

Facebook, in a conference call, said it is not looking to drive revenue from WhatsApp in the near term. Facebook instead is focusing on growth. Zuckerberg said he doesn't anticipate trying to aggressively grow WhatsApp's revenue until the service reaches "billions" of users.

WhatsApp only charges $1.00 a year after giving customers their first year of use for free. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said on the conference call that WhatsApp's business model is already successful.

Facebook probably bought WhatsApp to add value to its existing messaging services.

Anther Facebook acquisition, such as Instagram, was purchased for $1 billion in 2012 for similar reasons. As young social network users gravitated towards photo-sharing, Facebook wanted to scoop up what could have become major competition.

Like Instagram, WhatsApp will function as an autonomous unit within Facebook, with all the existing employees coming in as part of the deal.

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