Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp is more money than sense…

From 32 employees to a $19bn acquisition by the world’s largest social network; WhatsApp is a startup success story which will stay in app development history. But why has Facebook purchased the disruptive OTT player?

Let's be honest, WhatsApp won’t continue as successful as it is today without bringing another game-changer to the table... there are far too many players in the market with far more resources.

It sounds harsh; but WhatsApp is no longer a unique proposition. Today, Google’s "Hangouts" solution is built-in to my Android devices and is available cross-platform. Why would a user download (and now pay for) WhatsApp?

Ironically, it was Facebook’s Messenger which tore me away completely because most of my contacts were there; sorted into specific groups for friends, family, and business contacts. Most of the people you can think of will have a Facebook account; love or hate it’s become an indispensible service due to its sheer size and influence which ‘Messenger’ comes baked-in alongside...

... Of anywhere, you’ll probably reach your contacts on Facebook.

This morning we’ve seen articles cropping up suggesting that “WhatsApp is Facebook’s ticket to its next billion users.” With Facebook’s 1.23bn monthly users; I’d bet most of WhatsApp's users already have an account with the social network…

But maybe it is for the market monopoly? Facebook has the money to buy-out competitors; and they may have seen WhatsApp as a $19bn worth threat. Snapchat, however, who turned an offer down from Facebook last year - was clearly only seen as $3bn worth…

We can only guess that with seeing the current high-amount of monthly active users on WhatsApp (350 million vs. Snapchat’s 30 million) perhaps they are under the belief that the cash will indeed secure those “next billion users.”

Snapchat’s CEO told Forbes why he turned down Facebook’s offer: “I think trading for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.” Zuckerberg, this could turn-out to be advice to take heed of.

The most likely reason for the acquisition is to bolster Facebook’s lucrative and unique advertising platform; but this would only be worth a $19bn investment if the platform is going to last the next decade...

Some say the acquisition's motives is for the “extra customer data” but the comparitively pitiful information WhatsApp holds of its users up against the vast knowledge Facebook has about each of its own is almost laughable...

You may say phone numbers, but if you’re using Facebook’s mobile app you can guarantee somewhere in those terms we've agreed to the rights to store our numbers.

Consumers will always go for the most convenient solution, and WhatsApp disappeared off my device when built-in solutions appeared and it became inconvenient to have it. Having to download each time; whilst hoping my friends, colleagues, and family all have it…

Over at Chahal’s blog, Gurbaksh Chahal has placed a list of “All the companies worth less than WhatsApp” which is eye-opening. Ponder this; Facebook could have even bought American Airlines for $12.3bn if anyone fancied flying Facebook Airlines?

…More money than sense.

What are your own thoughts about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp?

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