I was surprised when I switch on TV and watched the news: Facebook to acquire WhatsApp.
The worldâ€™s largest social network is buying the worldâ€™s most popular messaging app for a jaw-dropping total of $19 billion USD ($4 billion cash + $12 billion stock + $3 billion restricted stock units).
Heck, I do not even know how many â€˜Zeroâ€™ in a billion! It is a huge amount! Facebook spent only 1 billion to buy Instagram â€“ a photo-sharing app â€“ in 2012.
Facebook and WhatsApp are two services I use daily, the must-have apps on my phone, and (almost) can not live without them.
Facebook is how I am still keep in touch with friends and get to know their latest news. WhatsApp is how my friends and I send messages to each other.
Nowadays, I am expecting text messages to send via WhatsApp, not SMS.
How will Facebook change WhatsApp?
Jan Koum signs the $19 billion Facebook deal paperwork on the door of his old welfare office in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Jan Koum)
WhatsApp is ads-free and free to use for 1st year. After 1 year, new users need to pay $0.99 USD per year to use the app.
WhatsApp should be FREE for everyone after Facebook buy it, right?Â Unfortunately, the answer is â€œNOâ€.
Facebook could waive WhatsApp $1 subscription fee and make it free like other Facebook products, but choose not to.
â€œHereâ€™s what will change for you, our users: nothingâ€, says WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum
Good news and bad news.
Good news: WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and get to keep its brand.
Bad news: WhatsApp will remain ad-free and still charging users $1 per year.
($1 per year for sending unlimited messages & photos to family & friends is CHEAP!)
Unlike other popular messaging apps (Line, Viber, WeChat, Facebook Messenger), WhatsApp is ad-free and does not have other gimmicks â€“ games, stickers, official accounts, etc â€“ to increase revenue.
WhatsAppâ€™s one and only revenue source is the low annual subscription fee.
After I posted the facebook-whatsapp deal on my Facebook, my friend sent a WhatsApp message to me:
â€œFacebook buys WhatsApp? Hopefully it makes it better, not killing it.â€
I think thatâ€™s the main concern of every WhatsApp users. Glad that both Facebook and WhatsApp co-founder promise WhatsApp will operate independently.
I expect to see tighter contacts integration between Facebook and WhatsApp, like Instagram and Facebook. Example: add facebook friends to WhatsApp; find WhatsApp friends on facebook.
Do you know thatâ€¦
- WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly active users and 1 million new sign-ups per day.
- 18 billion messages were sent daily via WhatsApp network in January 2014, which is very close to global SMS sent daily (19.5 billion).
- WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton, was working at Yahoo! and was rejected by Facebook and Twitter.
- Another messaging app, Viber â€“ over 100 million monthly active users â€“ was aquaired by Rakuten for $900 million last week on Feb 14, 2014.
What do you think about Facebook-WhatsApp $19 Billion deal? Please tell us in the comment.