Yes the ever awesome and ubiquitous app was yesterday acquired by Facebook. This successful bid of $16 billion, of which $4 billion is in cash.
The deal represents one of the biggest acquisitions in recent mobile tech history at almost double the $8.5 billion Microsoft paid for Skype back in 2011, and over five times the $2.9 billion Lenovo paid Google for Motorola just last month.
Wrote Mashable’s Adario Strange.
This is clearly sign that tech M&A activity is on the rebound, with major action from the key players expected to cause some shockwaves across the industry.
For many Americans this is just some news that is shocking or to which they react without a care. However, here in Africa messaging has evolved to the next level and we can safely say we lead in usage trends in so far as the adoption of IM and other messaging apps. Those that save you time and money (the absolutely free and easy to use ones), have grown vastly and built themselves a fanbase that shows addictive user personalities beyond the likes of BBM.
WhatsApp occupies such a space in many hearts of Africans as it doesn’t sale a falsehood of security to the user nor does it preclude people who have a different OS from contacting you. All you need is a smartphone of any price, size and name and you are on. Whether you are a taxi driver picking up cash-strapped customers on one side of town to collect your money anywhere, stalking an Ex who has a new picture of his new girlfriend or simply glad it let an old friend not act a stranger and they said “hello!”
Mark Zuckerberg must either be going after future competition to his failed messaging platform or he will help WhatsApp grow into the US market with it’s different eco-system of devices and entirely different usage patterns of the internet from the emerging markets of China, Middle-East, Africa or India.
This push towards mobile and a change in strategy from developing more add-ons for Facebook means will have less changes to worry about but a growing likelihood of more in-app advertising (there goes your battery life).
Our Analysts predict a rise in Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue. We envisage a re-imagination of WhatsApp into a free app that runs with lots of adverts from multiple networks. This goes against the ethos of the current app which does “not sale ads.” The other hand, maybe all those spammers who swamp their friends asking you to send messages to get free WhatsApp can now sit down. Yes you too my friend!