Facebook Shells Out $19 Billion for WhatsApp

Published On February 20, 2014 | Electronics

Facebook understands that if you can’t beat them, you acquire them.  According to CNN, WhatsApp, the leading messaging app, has been acquired by Facebook for $19 billion.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for smartphones, according to OnDevice Research.  With 450 million users and counting, WhatsApp has dominated the smartphone market while Facebook’s very own messaging app, Messenger, ranks second.

What makes WhatsApp such a sensation is that unlike traditional texting, messages are sent over mobile broadband, saving users texting fees that could add up over time.  WhatsApp charges only a dollar a year after granting free access the first year.

According to CNN:

On the conference call, Facebook said it is not looking to drive revenue from WhatsApp in the near term, instead focusing on growth.  Zuckerberg said he doesn’t anticipate trying to aggressively grow WhatsApp’s revenue until the service reaches “billions” of users.”

With all of this said, it looks as though WhatsApp will maintain its independent spirit, despite its acquired status.

If you are still concerned by Facebook’s influence, consider these messing service alternatives, before they are acquired by another giant:

Kik

Kik originally debuted as a BlackBerry app in 2009. Five years later, Kit now provides free services to more than 100 million users.  What sets Kik apart from WhatsApp and its rivals is that Kik doesn’t require users to have a mobile number.  In addition, Kik has made tremendous in revamping its Android and iOS apps by including a built-in browser.

Tango

Tango is currently a messaging app that is flirting with the idea of transforming into a full-blown social network.  In addition to standard texts, users have the capability to send videos, voice calls, photos and messages enhanced by music.

Whether you plan on using WhatsApp the next time you sign into Facebook, it adds one more option to the free messaging services that are available.

Do you plan on switching to WhatsApp? Which messaging service is your favorite?

– By Tim Alan 

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