What’s up with WhatsApp?


Whether it’s the press, financial traders or marketers, everyone has had an opinion on the recent acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook. Did any of you see the unfortunate (funny) typo, by the BBC which turned the news story into Facebook acquires “massaging service”? Uh oh!

Last week, social networking giant, Facebook, released a statement to announce its decision to buy WhatsApp – a massively successful mobile messaging service which connects people through mobile numbers. But by paying $19 billion (yes BILLION), clearly there was deep-rooted strategy behind the mega purchase – either blow the competition out of the water and monopolise social media by acquiring WhatsApp’s 450 million subscribers; or a more intelligent strategy: expand and develop further within the rising smartphone market. My instinct tells me it’s the latter. With the rise in smartphone usage, accessing social media via mobile devices has become much more prevalent – it’s a market shift Facebook cannot afford to miss, or risk irrelevancy.

In a follow-up press release, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported that WhatsApp will continue to operate as it currently is, with minimal change or disruption. He added the following statement:

“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.”

With the admission from Facebook itself, WhatsApp’s growth has been strong, with 450 million users each month – a staggering 70% of whom use the app every day! With the combined power of Facebook and WhatsApp, there’s a concern about the increasing access and grip that the social media giant has on our lives. Since Facebook successfully acquired Instagram in 2013 ,and now WhatsApp, it poses the question: is the social networking giant really branching out and diversifying into new areas or is it on its way to monopolising social media?

What’s your say on Facebook’s recent purchase of WhatsApp?  Send your comments to @iftweeter or follow me at @baktijethwa

© ‘Facebook acquired WhatsApp so that no one else could’ Photo By Tayla Lyell

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