Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is to buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion (that’s $19,000,000,000) in cash and stock – not bad for a five year-old company!
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is looking for ways to boost its popularity, particularly among a younger audience.
Combining text messaging and social networking, messaging apps like WhatsApp provide a fast way for smartphone users to share everything from short texts, photographs to YouTube clips – without needing to pay for text messages.
YOUTH MOVING TO NEW SOCIAL NETWORKS
Facebook’s acquisition of the burgeoning messaging service (WhatsApp is adding about a million users per day) that has more than 450 million users worldwide, has stunned the market with its high price tag but it underlines Facebook’s determination to win the market for messaging, vital in the mobile age.
Buying WhatsApp will help Facebook hold its youth market, the latter having moved away from the mainstream social networks preferring WhatsApp and rivals such as Line and WeChat, which have grown massively as mobile messaging has taken off.
Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on his page on Wednesday:
“WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Since WhatsApp and (Facebook) Messenger serve such different and important users, we will continue investing in both.”