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Posts Tagged ‘Whatsapp’

Days after it was announced that the mobile messaging app Viber was acquired by Japanese internet giant Rakuten for $900million, the news was dwarfed by the noise following the announcement that Whatsapp had been bought by Facebook for a record $19bn.  This post contains some of my favourite reactions to the news from Twitter & 9gag.com, a selection of opinion and analysis from industry experts and a list of items that Facebook could have spent the money on instead.

Does EVERYONE think that Facebook overpaid for Whatsapp?  Asia has already seen the potential that other regions of the world are only beginning to see in mobile messaging apps, according to this Wall Street Journal blog article.  Some of Whatsapp’s biggest competitors in Asia are Line in Japan, KakaoTalk in Korea, and WeChat in China.  These messaging apps have developed into platforms that allow users to access a range of services.

For example, China’s WeChat offers e-commerce services to its users, and Japan’s Line offers mobile games, which they say are a big source of revenue.  Messaging apps have been considered a hot mobile service in Asia for some time and Line’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer says:

“The amount that Facebook is offering to buy WhatsApp is not excessively high. This is a proof of how valuable smartphone messaging has become in the age of mobile.” 

Over at Reuters, finance blogger Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) suggests that to ask whether Facebook paid too much is to ask the wrong question. With this acquisition Zuckerberg is making a statement that mobile is more important than money. Facebook’s mobile offering is not as popular as its desktop product. After going public, everyone knew that leading on the mobile front would be the next biggest challenge and Zuckerberg would need to make the transition as quickly and aggressively as possible.  That’s what he’s been doing. You can read more of what Felix Salmon has to say in his article here.

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