The pixels have barely settled on our report that the European Union has approved Facebook’s takeover of WhatsApp and now we see that the deal has been finalised. Facebook’s $19 billion stock offer is now over $21 billion thanks to a rise in Facebook stock prices. We’ve seen that Whatsapp co-founder and Chief Executive Office, Jan Koum, will sit on the Facebook Board of Directors.
As I wrote in my other article, Facebook are acquiring WhatsApp for a combination of reasons and the root of this is accumulating information about users. Sure; by acquiring WhatsApp it will gain a stronger foothold into the emerging smartphone markets (and let’s not forget that WhatsApp is available for some feature ‘phones) but let’s not kid ourselves: Facebook hopes that these WhatsApp users will migrate towards Facebook. The deal will give Facebook something like a billion monthly users but they’re taking twenty two billion bets that they’ll be at the forefront of the next billion. This is a strategy that Google have followed with Android One, say wouldn’t it be neat if Facebook and Google were to maybe do a Facebook Phone..? Oh, okay, as you were!
On a personal level, I don’t use Facebook or WhatsApp. Facebook reminds me of why I didn’t enjoy my last few years of education and I was never keen on anybody being able to see that I have WhatsApp and message me, nor of the inability to easily put WhatsApp onto non-phone devices (something that Hangouts does so beautifully): this decision won’t change how I use either of these services. But what of our readers? Will you remove WhatsApp from your device, or will you be joining the service again?