It has recently been announced that Facebook is going to acquire the popular messaging app – Whatsapp for 19 billion dollars… that seems a little extreme, right? Especially when we consider the fact that Instagram was bought for only 1 billion dollars just two years ago.
Whats app, created by a Facebook reject and a college drop-out has only 55 employees and has existed for only 5 years… so, the question on everyone’s minds right now is – Why is Facebook paying such an exorbitant amount for it?
In my opinion, it’s because WhatsApp is WhatsUp, and here’s why:
1. WhatsApp currently has 450million people using the app each day, and is currently the only application that has more user engagement than Facebook.
2. There are NO annoying ads – Whatsapp allows those who download the app 1 year of free use and consequently charges users $0.99 per year to use the service. In fact, WhatsApp announces their hatred for ads when you first download the service, using a famous line from Fight Club – “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”
3. WhatsApp leaves users’ personal information alone, it doesn’t collect names, ages, genders or addresses, and it doesn’t store users’ messages on its servers – a refreshing change from the usual information hungry applications, like Facebook.
4. No SMS fees are incurred by the user, meaning that WhatsApp is a very popoular choice for users on mobile phone plans that provide unlimited data usage, but not unlimited texting. In fact, the proposed introduction of voice-calling on WhatsApp may severly impact on telecoms giants in the near future.
5. WhatsApp connects people by telephone numbers, which means, unlike standard messaging systems, they can connect across all platforms and Android and iPhone users can be friends for once, talking in groups created on the messaging app.
6. It connects people on a global level – conversations with people overseas are instantaneous and free, and alert their users just as a normal text message would.
7. It is very easy to use: Whats app works exactly like normal text messaging, and you don’t need to remember a password or sign in after you’ve set up an account, it instantly connects from the telephone number you’re using.
8. Unlike it’s main compeititor, Viber, WhatsApp allows users to send photos and videos, creating a more personalised experience, especially when communicating with family and friends overseas, and wanting to send video snapshots of their lives.
9. As WhatsApp is founded on the use of mobile numbers, you can search for contacts through your address book, and if they don’t have WhatsApp, but are in your contacts and you want to connect- you can send them a link to download the app, too easy!
10. Last but not least, one of the best things about WhatsApp is it’s simplicity. No games, no add-ons, no ads, no music, no profiles, no surveys, no nothing. Just a simple way to connect with the people you love, regardless of where they are in the world, instantaneously.
WhatsApp’s simplicity, lack of advertising and ease of use definitely makes it a front runner in the social media game, and why Facebook has paid a ridiculous amount to acquire it, but do you think Facebook will reverse it’s good intentions once the take-over is complete? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 🙂