When everyone was still commenting on the “Candy Crush IPO“, here comes the news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for a mind boggling $19 billion.
WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging application, with 450 million monthly users, 70 percent of them active daily.
In theory, this could be a smart move by Zuckerberg, when mobile is finally hitting the mainstream. Facebook doesn’t own a mobile operating system (Google owns Android, and Apple has iOS). This way, it will have access to 450 million phones (and phone numbers).
This is clearly a move to be present in more and more places people currently are. The FB fans will love this; its detractors will paint the move as another way for them to further control our lives.
To think we thought the acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion was big. It’s small change compared to this.
Is Facebook biting more that it can chew? I’m afraid so. It’s all too easy nowadays for the next big thing to come along and steal users away from them. MySpace, Hi5, remember them? The digital landscape is constantly shifting and, though Facebook is huge now, who’s to say what will happen in the future?