Mark Zuckerberg Knows WhatsApp

February 20, 2014 9:00 AM

The social media titan that is Facebook has just bought out the massively popular mobile phone application – WhatsApp – for an eye-watering amount of $16 billion. In the latest move for global social media domination Facebook has taken the already extremely popular application and made it their own instead of going through the motions of creating their own version and getting the user base to make it work. Mark Zuckerberg posted “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook.”

For all of those people who have been living under a rock for the past five years, WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two ex-Yahoo employees; Brian Acton from America and Jan Koum from Ukraine. WhatsApp is an instant messaging service that works across the majority of devices; it also doesn’t use texting credit and instead is sent using your Internet connection so, in theory, it doesn’t cost you a penny. WhatsApp’s main appeal is the overseas communication capabilities; if you were to text someone in Australia from England it would cost you a minimum of 35p. This doesn’t seem expensive but if you are attempting to have a full conversation with somebody, these 35 little pennies will add up. WhatsApp also allows you to send picture messages as well as text messages that add to its appeal greatly. The main thing that makes WhatsApp so desirable, apart from the overseas messages and picture message is the sheer simplicity of it all, they did not try and over complicate the process and instead went with what worked. 

The reason why Mark Zuckerberg would want to purchase this application despite having the already world renowned social media giant Facebook is because of the recent dip in active users for Facebook. Zuckerberg has an application of his own in the App store that is a mobile version of Facebook. Facebook have timed this purchase perfectly; there have been attempts to increase traffic and user base on Facebook over the past year with mild success, however Zuckerberg has seen that friends will want to message other friends for free without having to load up an entire ‘wall’ of information. If Zuckerberg was to take WhatsApp and combine it with the user base of Facebook you will be able to access only the messaging component of Facebook with all of the information still integrating with your Facebook account.

This is not the first mobile application that Zuckerberg has purchased. Back in 2012 Instagram was purchased for a lesser but still insane amount of $1 billion. With this latest purchase it is clear that Zuckerberg has attention firmly planted on the mobile section of social media. Zuckerberg has a finger on the pulse of social media and is aiming to expand and keep everyone in a neat little group.