Update (20 Feb 2014): After 1 year of this post, today we got confirmed news that Facebook has bought WhatsApp. Read the full news in detail on The Telegraph.
Facebook which has been termed as one of the most powerful game changer in the social network arena and its widespread effects on digital marketing techniques has helped the firm in crossing a billion active users mark and is constantly growing. In line with customer acquisition, Facebook has initiated talks with a mobile application firm, WhatsApp which is a widely popular messaging application being used in more than 100 countries with its presence on 750 mobile networks across the world and its operation on Android, Sybian, Blackberry, Nokia or Windows phone makes it the most popular mobile application till date. WhatsApp venture was funded by Sequoia capital ventures.
Amazingly, WhatsApp is a paid application available at various price models by service providers and provides its users with a messaging platform. With mobile technology playing a major role in revolutionizing the networking across the world, Facebook is looking forward to join hands with WhatsApp thereby opening up avenues towards acquiring an untapped WhatsApp base of around 300 million users which utilizes this interesting tool for interaction with family and friends over phone. The analysts suggest that Facebook would like the serve a dual purpose with WhatsApp acquisitions. Firstly, the acquisition will open a plethora of new users which are potential Facebook users and secondly, the acquisition will open a new stream of advertising revenue for Facebook.
The cofounders of WhatsApp applications, Koum and Brian Acton, have worked as partners at Yahoo before. Both the partners have expressed their disinterest in advertising based revenue models and hence resorted to an invention of a messaging app, WhatsApp which is free from ads. Now this is where Facebook-WhatsApp deal stands as a rumor till now because there has been a clash of interests. On one side, WhatsApp founders do not have any affinity towards advertising revenue whereas on the other hand, Facebook is creating a huge revenue stream from advertising revenues and is looking forward to replicate the same with WhatsApp acquisition.
The deal is still in its nascent stage and rumors on advanced negotiations talks are gaining momentum. Neither Facebook nor WhatsApp representatives have officially announced their interests.