Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19Bn

You may be thinking what is WhatsApp? Well WhatsApp’s website advises “WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia… there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.”

The real beauty of WhatsApp is that you enter your phone number and WhatsApp looks through your contact list for other people who are using the app. Then you can message those users all you want without limits or charges. The app is available on many platforms and is free to download and has no ads, but it costs $1 per year after the first year.

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So why did Facebook buy WhatsApp? The reason is simple. The giants of the Internet today such as Google and Facebook have learned from the mistakes of the giants of the past such as Yahoo and Myspace, and now rather than trying to compete with new competition they acquire them so as to ‘stay relevant’ and dominant regardless of which platform users switch to over time.

WhatsApp is massive in size. WhatsApp has more than 450 million active users. This is a bit less than half of Facebook’s 1.23 billion users.

What’s interesting is that the WhatsApp website has a blog post where they proudly boast that “We don’t sell ads.” This is interesting considering that they have now just been bought by the biggest advertising engine since Google in the modern digital age.

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