What comes to your mind when you think about the old days on social media? Of course it’s none other than Facebook. We all have so many memories associated with Facebook. Though Facebook has already had a remarkable journey, its presence in the social media network strengthened when it acquired WhatsApp in October 2014, which was a 1.4 billion dollar company.
By doing so, Facebook foothold its position as one of the best social media networks for connecting, sharing photos and videos. Let’s look more into how this acquisition affected Facebook and WhatsApp users.
The rising influence of Facebook:
After being launched in the year 2004, Facebook has always seen a rising curve in its users, because of its user friendly and super easy interface. It has become one of the most widely used social networking sites with around two billion users across the globe. By acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook is set to change the global market of social media and its influence.
In a letter written by Mark Zuckerberg, he mentioned that “For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families and it will continue working to build a social infrastructure for community, engaging more users.”
Why are people so fond of Whatsapp?
If we talk about the current scenario, then WhatsApp is the most popular social networking site. The features of WhatsApp have been designed keeping in mind to cater to people from all generations. It is being widely used not just for connecting with people, but also for business purposes, official works and the new communities feature is an add on to WhatsApp being more preferred than other social media channels.
Currently, after Facebook it is the second most widely used App. As the App is private, free and has end to end encryption, people feel more secure using this channel to communicate with their friends and family. Since its launch in 2009, its popularity has increased drastically and most of the people who own a smartphone, also have access to WhatsApp.
What were the business benefits which this acquisition brought to Facebook?
According to a few reports published, it was reported that in 2014, around 450 million people were using WhatsApp on a monthly basis and 70% of the users were daily active users, this very clearly indicated that it is going to grow in a very short span of time. Facebook knew that acquiring WhatsApp would definitely be a profitable investment. So it paid a whopping amount of $19 billion.
Another important thing, which Facebook considered while the acquisition was that, once it acquires WhatsApp, it will have access to the data of all WhatsApp users, which will ultimately benefit Facebook for running ads more effectively as per the user preference.
Impact of the acquisition for current users of Whatsapp:
WhatsApp users currently have unrestricted access to the platform’s features, but in future if Facebook comes up with features of targeted ads or making the platform a paid App, then there are chances that a huge difference will be spotted in the user experiences and the numbers as well.
Data Retention and Rising Competition:
Zuckerberg said that he believes in having a privacy-focused communications platform which will become even more important than today’s open platforms. While the acquisition was about to happen, WhatsApp announced that it would be changing its data retention policies. This will help users to be mindful of how much of their data would be shared.
As Facebook has acquired WhatsApp it has been facing competition from its rivals. Platforms like Line and WeChat have been focusing on building a stronger user experience and having some different features also. Though Facebook is still on top, it may still need to work more on coming up with more features to stay in the ground.
Integration, Payment services and profits being earned:
WhatsApp is now acquired by Facebook, Facebook can also plan to monetize WhatsApp, where users will have to pay some monthly subscription to use the platform, though as of now any such feature has not been updated. Users may also be provided with services like linking their Facebook and WhatsApp profile which will ultimately become easier for the users to have discussions on different platforms.
WhatsApp has already introduced the payments features, which has made it more easier for people to transfer money and pay for goods and services. As WhatsApp is already a profitable venture, it will become more economical for Facebook to run targeted ads on its platform without thinking much about the cost.
It is very clear with the acquisition of WhatsApp, how fast the social media and messaging industry is changing. This acquisition has not only brought new opportunities for Facebook and its users, it will also have certain implications which the users must be aware of. For now WhatsApp is not a paid platform for users and the user base is growing, but we don’t know what will unfold if it becomes a paid platform in the near future.
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