On Wednesday, we were all caught by surprise when Facebook announced it was purchasing Whatsapp for about $16 billion. This morning, Fortune is reporting that Google also had interest in acquiring Whatsapp. They reportedly wanted to spend about $10 billion for the app. Fortune is also reporting that two separate sources had confirmed Google wanting to purchase Whatsapp, but it’s still unclear when Google tried to buy them, or why the deal didn’t go through. However, it’s being reportedly as well, that the deal was coming without a promise of a Google board seat, which the Facebook agreement did come with.
On February 9th, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg proposed to buy Whatsapp to their co-founder and CEO Jan Koum, and the deal was finalized just a few days later. Business Insider is reporting that Koum visited Zuckerberg at home on Valentines day (isn’t that cute?), which interrupted a private dinner, and agreed to the deal before finalizing the details and pricing “over chocolate covered strawberries”. Koum will be on Facebook’s Board of Directors, and has also promised that “nothing” will change users immediately as Facebook plans to run Whatsapp independently. Much like Facebook did with Instagram, but we have seen what Facebook has done with Instagram, so the “nothing” isn’t being taken very seriously.
Currently Whatsapp is being used by over 450 million people each month to send messages. Obviously, it’s silent and fast growth caught the attention of companies like Google and Facebook. However, it appears that Facebook was able to nab Whatsapp before Google. Which is good for Facebook, but the question is, what will Zuckerberg and Co do with this messaging platform? We’re all thinking it’s going to be rolled into Facebook Messenger, but then they did state that “nothing” will change. So it’s tough to say right now.