Mark Zuckerberg has surprised us once again. “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook”, he posted yesterday on his Facebook wall. WhatsApp is considered one of the giants in mobile instant-messaging communication and it has been acquired by the giant of the social networks.
How will the acquisition affect us as WhatsApp and Facebook users?
WhatsApp doesn’t stand out for its privacy, nor for its technical support by a long way – remember that only 50 people work for the company. Other similar free applications, such as Telegram , have got more active users during the first month after being launched than the well-known application. According to recent rumors, it could be just a marketing technique to catch the eye of new users, trying to be part of the giant social network. In addition, we have to consider that most of the experts have considered it as the riskiest financial operation over the last few years.
The main problem is that Mark Zuckerberg’s Company likes to not listen to advices from experts. The best example of this situation is its entrance in the Stock Exchange: Facebook started with a valuation of 100 billion dollars and, in just the first year, its shares were depreciated by 30%. In fact, the majority of investors advise not to buy Facebook shares, because they are likely going to depreciate during next year.
Current agreement and situation
The definitive agreement establishes that it's going to be acquired for $16 billion, which is going to be divided into cash (exactly $4 billion) and Facebook shares ($12 billion). In addition, Facebook provides $3 billion in restricted stock units which are going to be granted to WhatsApp’s team (employees and founders) over the four subsequent years to closing. On the other hand, it is considered one of the riskiest financial operations due to its fluctuation on the American Stock Exchange.
I've also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected
WhatsApp is used by 450 million users each month, and these users send more than 10 billion messages per day through their mobile. In addition, it has improved its photo-sharing process, with more than 400 million photos shared each day. It was founded in 2009 and is based in Mountain View, California. What really shocks us is that more than 1 million users are registering each day. The large amount of the population that uses this app makes it the leader of the instant-messaging apps market.
“WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook”, declares Mark Zuckerberg, “Over the next few years, we're going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world.” However, the founder and CEO of the social network has clarified that Facebook Messenger won’t change, because he thinks that the purpose and the usefulness of both services are quite different. “Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people.”
Facebook’s Company wants to foster that independent-minded entrepreneurs can set the direction of their companies (among other advantages) while they are using Facebook’s resources, scale and expertise. Finally, we have to remember that Mark Zuckerberg’s company bought Instagram some time ago, for $1 billion, making the most of the photo-sharing mobile app and increasing its popularity. Could Facebook do the same with WhatsApp? As Facebook’s CEO says, we’re also looking forward what these two companies can do together and what new services and improvements they are going to develop.