Facebook's WhatsApp Acquisition
Facebook made a bold move last week in the realm of Social Media with the WhatsApp acquisition.
To the tune of $19 billion, Facebook has completed its purchase of WhatsApp, the popular mobile messaging service.
Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp planted roots in 2014 and is now coming to fruition. The move by Facebook was the top acquisition in 2014 and is one of the biggest tech buys in history.
Show Me the Money
WhatsApp previously raked in approximately $20 million a year with low-cost subscription-based services around the world. It also offered free services. However, that hardly justified the big-dollar buyout. So what’s the catch in the WhatsApp acquisition?
Facebook intends to use the information in WhatsApp’s database to create more tailored ads for Facebook users. Facebook is also rumored to be planning a roll out of advertising services in WhatsApp, a previously ad-free platform. But that's not all.
Facebook has been trying to get its hot little hands on the millions upon millions of phone numbers in the WhatsApp database. And now it might just gain that coveted access.
WhatsApp has been big on security. The app has been encrypted from end-to-end, meaning the company could never see the content shared by its users across the globe. Those phone numbers, however, may be up for grabs. Also on the table are analytics. The devices and operating systems used by WhatsApp users are now in Facebook's possession.
Recent polls suggest 99 percent of users don't trust social media with personal details or contact information. People are hesitant to allow their phone usage habits to be fodder for business ventures, corporate contests, or marketing campaigns.
Furthermore, those concerns spread worldwide and are not limited to the good ole' U.S. of A.
Nonetheless, scores of users have already exchanged their phone numbers for the use of the free or low-cost messaging service. Facebook now owns that and other information.
In Whose Best Interest?
While Facebook claims it doesn't want WhatsApp users to experience spam-like messages, there are whispers that businesses will be allowed to send targeted marketing messages to some users. This strong arm tactic is in stark contrast to WhatsApp's founding principles.
The social network giant also intends to overlap user information between WhatsApp and Facebook to determine shared users. The goal, claims Facebook, is to create more tailored user experiences.
Facebook's gluttony for data contradicts its claims to enhance user experience.
Summing it Up
Facebook is definitely establishing itself as the bully on the social network playground. Although the social network king isn't afraid to shell out big bucks to absorb other social networks, it doesn't seem to be able to put its money where its mouth is regarding privacy rights for users. Will the recent acquisition buy Facebook more fans, or invoke fury?
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