Facebook buys Whatsapp for $19bn. $3bn more than NASA's 2014 budget.
$19 billion. Why is Whatsapp worth that much money to Facebook? Is it to get back in favour with younger audiences? Or, is it more simply the access to 450 million phone numbers. Through the acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp, you really have to ask what is next for the monopoly of social media that is Facebook. Imagine how much data mining they can do now?
Boasting 450 million monthly active users, of which 70% are active daily, Founder and CEO of Whatsapp, Jan Koum, famously said “Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it.” In a statement following the news of purchase, Koum assured users that nothing will change and that Whatsapp “will remain autonomous and operate independently”. This was backed up by Zuckerberg’s statement: “Whatsapp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community.”
The thing is, Facebook is interested in your data, your data is how it makes its revenue. So how long will this promise last? Only time will tell, but Facebook owners have just bought themselves a goldmine of data. News of data breaches and privacy concerns are commonplace, companies across many industries are being affected, from Skype to Target to Barclays.
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