19 Billion dollars. Yes, you heard it right. Facebook just acquired WhatsApp for a whopping 19 billion dollars. The success story of WhatsApp is quite heart warming. Whatsapp was the brainchild of Jan Koum, and the first version of WhatsApp was released in early 2009. Between 2009 to 2011, WhatsApp grew from an app that kept crashing and getting stuck, didn’t support sending of pictures and having only a handful of users to one of the most popular apps ever made, particularly in developing countries and more notably made it to the top 10 of all apps in the App Store. Now that Facebook has bought WhatsApp we are now going to explore what the implications of this move can be to its users.
First, WhatsApp is cheap. The subscription rate of only a dollar a year played a huge role in popularizing the app. If Facebook chooses to increase subscription rates their customer base could potentially decrease.
One of the main reasons WhatsApp is as popular as it is, is because of the ads, or rather the lack of it. With Facebook acquiring it, it might just chose to make money on ads, pushing away customers.
Another major motive behind Facebook buying WhatsApp is the huge user data they will now have access too. This leads to many privacy concerns. Also, with the contact information of not only you but also all your friends they might choose to send out invites and advertisement through texts and e-mails. This can be a real put off to customers. With Facebook reading and monetizing your information and personal chats people might just move away from this popular platform.
While I have covered a variety of downsides, Id be lying if I said there isn’t a bright one. With WhatsApp off their hands, the team at WhatsApp, Inc can now build another app to take the market by storm. With Facebook buying Whatsapp, we can now heave a sigh of relief that WhatsApp is here to stay. With the resources of Facebook it is pretty much impossible to see anything going wrong with WhatsApp.