Facebook Buys WhatsApp


What’s Facebook In For Really!

The news about Facebook buying WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars has certainly got everyone’s minds racing. While some suspect that WhatsApp services will now be merged with Facebook Messenger, others are worried about their privacy and the ads that will keep flickering on their smartphone screen. Well, we will find the answers to these worries with time but there are very high chances of WhatsApp enjoying its independence just like the photo sharing app Instagram, which Facebook bought in the year 2012. However, one of Facebook’s five co-founders Mark Zuckerberg ensured that much of users’ internet activity happened through Facebook and its apps.

This can be explained better with some stats.

First up the number of pictures uploaded on the internet. According to famous American venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s report released in mid-2013, more than 500 million images are uploaded on the internet on a daily basis. The number was estimated to rise to 700 million per day by 2012, but judging the numbers shared by Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and other messaging apps, Meeker’s figures seems rather low.


In September 2013, Facebook claimed that 350 million photos are  uploaded on the site on a daily basis, excluding the 55 million that are shared on Instagram. According to Techcrunch’s report in November last year, Snapchat users share more than 400 million snaps (including videos, for which Facebook has separate stats) daily. And according to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the users of WhatsApp share around 400 million images per day.


If we are to go by Zuckerberg’s words in the press conference held on Thursday, then numbers have risen to 600 million images per day. These stats not only show that more photos are shared on WhatsApp than on Facebook, but also prove that people prefer photo sharing platforms over messaging sites like Facebook and Twitter.


Zuckerberg has had a firsthand experience of this with one of his own applications. He saw how photo usage exploded after he bought Instagram for 1 billion dollarsSeeing this he even made an attempt to buy Snapchat in the year 2013, but its founder Evan Spiegel turned down the offer.

So by buying WhatsApp, Facebook has a huge lump of photo uploads—if my calculation is right then its 800 million photo uploads per day—even though it’s on three different platforms. But that’s just the images. Talking about the messages exchanged over Facebook, the numbers haven’t been very impressive. While more than 10 billion messages are sent on Facebook each day, WhatsApp handles 50 billion messages on an average, making the latter the leading social messaging app.


According to Deloitte’s technology report of 2013, the total number of text messages sent across the world throughout this year is expected to fall down by 5 billion. Whereas the number of messages sent through instant messaging apps is expected to increase by 300 billion by the end of 2014. If all these statistics are right then the mobile users will largely be exchanging messages through the apps owned by Facebook.

After all, Facebook now has three platforms to engage its users, two of which do so without any advertisements—WhatsApp and Instagram. This might change with time but by acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook has bought itself more users and their internet time for 19 billion dollars.  Not a bad deal I must say!

Shraddha Jandial

Do you think Facebook has made the right investment? Write your opinions in the comment box below.

Image Source [http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/wp-content/blogs.dir/2304/files/2014/02/Facebook-WhatsApp.JPEG-06b9f.jpg]