By Mayank Jain:
The story: Facebook, the mighty giant of the internet sphere which rose through the ranks of social networking and now sits on the top of the table has just made another acquisition: our favorite messaging app, WhatsApp is Facebook’s WhatsApp from now on. This time the acquisition has happened for a humongous amount of money but the user base it gains through the deal is big enough to probably justify $19billion. Yes, 19 billion dollars for an instant messaging app.
It is notable to observe that the amount Facebook has paid for WhatsApp is almost 10% of its total value! Instagram was 1%, when YouTube was acquired by Google 10 years back, it was also less than 2% and Android acquisition was worth only 0.08% and this should put it in perspective on how aggressive Facebook is getting with each passing day.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition and then did an investor call to emphasize on Facebook’s endeavor to build “a more connected and an open world”, and we agree. It is notable to note that WhatsApp is bigger in users than Twitter or LinkedIn and hence offers a great extension to Facebook’s already burgeoningÂ user base.
If the deal doesn’t go through, Facebook will have to pay $1 billion breakup fees that is more than what it paid for Instagram.
The Opinion: Facebook’s another acquisition and another social internet service most people use is gone in their hands. What this company is trying to do is to turn everything that we use internet for into Blue (its theme color).
The recent launch of Paper App, that’s a replacement for a news reader, and acquisition of Instagram were only ways to keep hanging on to people who seem to be moving away from one next big thing to another after every few years.
What Facebook did to Instagram after acquisition might be repeated here and we can expect the ability to share status updates through WhatsApp very soon, though a revenue model is expected to be put in place while Zuckerberg has categorically declined advertising.
What this means for us is that now Facebook and Google are the two big giants who control almost everything we spend our time on the internet for. With this, Facebook has reached even the last consumer who still uses a Nokia phone based on Symbian OS. This implies greater reach for the company and better connectivity for us.
While most people who complain of internet addiction always make Facebook the devil and deactivate but almost nobody ever went offline from WhatsApp after joining and this tells us the great deal about Facebook’s intention. It just wants to be indispensable and take over our digital lives, or maybe real life as well?