Rumor: Facebook is going to buy WhatsApp, but then what happens?

by: ŠtefanDecember 3, 2012

According to TechCrunch, Facebook is in talks to acquire WhatsApp. For those of you who have never heard of WhatsApp, it’s quite a simple application: You install it on your phone, it asks you for your phone number, WhatsApp sends you a conformation code via SMS, you input the conformation code, and now you’re able to message all the people in your address book for free, assuming they also use WhatsApp. It’s basically RIM’s BlackBerry Messanger, but it works everywhere. And by everywhere, we mean everywhere. Nokia bundles WhatsApp on their S40 feature phones, some of which can be purchased brand new for less than $40.

So why would Facebook want WhatsApp? That’s the question that TechCrunch breaks down from multiple angles. The most important point they make is that Facebook makes money by showing you ads, whereas WhatsApp is a paid application. On Android and iOS it’s just a one time $0.99 purchase, which makes it great, but how’s the company going to make money off you again? Is that where Facebook’s ad model comes in handy?

People often make the mistake of assuming that consumers want to put all their contacts from various social networks into one address book. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If Facebook does decide to buy WhatsApp, and if they populate your WhatsApp “buddy list” with your Facebook contacts, then will there be a mass defection?

There are plenty of WhatsApp clones out there; this writer has a soft spot for Viber. What makes WhatsApp special is that they have the most number of users. According to the independent analyst Benedict Evans, WhatsApp could have as many as 300 million users. Put another way, that’s one out of every three Facebook users.

What do you guys think, should this deal go through?

  • reevester

    The day this happens, I’m gonna leave WhatsApp. I cannot have features forced upon me without thought or with only revenue in mind!

    • Or features removed because they dont make Facebook money. Or privacy concerns thrown to the wind because privacy isnt profitable…

    • exapted

      Even if they most people were using it?

  • Flo

    if that comes tue, i will use it even less – I only do this, because I#m the only one with an sms flat…

    I don’t like facebook either – it’s ugly.,.

  • Whatsapp is 0.99 a year, not one time.

    • Christian M. Z.

      Yes.. for iOS it’s a one time fee. For Android it’s $0.99/year after the first “free trial” year. They do “extend” the trial, but it’s subject to their own discretion.

      Samsung’s ChatOn offering on the other hand is really free on all platforms, supports more platforms than Whatsapp, and has features not found in other chat apps (like self-drawn animated messages). Unfortunately not many know or use it.

      • APai

        although i do not use it, it seems to work very well, and like you said had more features working well. never thought samsung would be doing so many things right in a space of like 3 years. i had a low opinion of them and their designs until sometime back. they have probably been the most improved company!

    • RarestName

      I got it for free on iOS when they made it temporarily free to download.

  • Facebook cant even get their own messenger app, or Facebook for Android to work properly, and they wanna take one of the most popular Android apps and hijack it into a hybrid? No thanks!

  • APai

    In that case….I’ll drop whatsapp like a hot potato

  • exapted

    The proprietary messaging network market is ripe for consolidation. There’s whatsApp, Line, Viber, Tango, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Skype, MSN, Yahoo, gTalk, XMPP, SMS, email, etc. It appears to be consolidating into whatsApp-Facebook (consumer), Microsoft-Skype (business, including China), WeChat-QQ (consumer, China), Line (Japan), and gTalk/XMPP (people who understand the web, federation, etc.).

  • no..whatsapp shud b whatsapp inc.

  • sagar makkar


  • facebook should please leave whatsapp alone.
    I’m kinda new to Android and I hate apps with ads. :-P

  • rafs

    I will simple get a another whatsapp clone and say goodbye to whatsapp

  • LeDerp

    If facebook assimilates, i leave. Done. Maybe ill give kik messenger a try then

  • Syed

    I will definitely stop using watsapp if this happens!!