Why Did Facebook Buy Whatsapp

Why Did Facebook Buy Whatsapp: Facebook made an awesome move yesterday, buying messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion.

Even for Facebook, that's a shocking total up to spend for a company with estimated 2013 profits of only $20 million. It represents almost 10% of Facebook's overall worth-- for a "messaging application."


Why Did Facebook Buy Whatsapp


So following the announcement, the normal chorus of key-board pundits took to Twitter to snicker together as well as pronounce Facebook and also its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, mind dead.

If it were ensured to wind up looking dazzling, it wouldn't be bold. It would certainly be apparent, risk-free, and also boring. And Facebook hasn't built a solution made use of by one-sixth of the globe's population in Ten Years by being obvious, safe, as well as boring.

I have no idea how Facebook's WhatsApp deal will certainly wind up looking-- and neither, it deserves keeping in mind, do any of the pundits who are pronouncing it brain dead. Based upon whatever I do understand, though, I assume the odds are that it will certainly end up looking fantastic.

Here's why:

- WhatsApp has both offending and protective value to Facebook. WhatsApp is the fastest-growing company in history (in terms of users). If the business's growth continues, and also it can continue to "generate income from" its users, it will be worth an even more overwhelming amount of money someday. At the same time, WhatsApp's development is gobbling up individual messaging and connection time that when might have belonged to Facebook. Currently those users and also their time do come from Facebook. So acquiring WhatsApp enables Facebook to both own "the next Facebook" as well as stop "the following Facebook" from consuming Facebook's lunch.

- WhatsApp's development and usage is definitely mind-blowing. Five years after its founding, the business has 450 million active regular monthly customers, of which an incredible ~ 315 million usage it on a daily basis. WhatsApp is including 1 million brand-new users a day-- 1 million! Facebook believes WhatsApp could have 1 billion customers in a few years, as well as this price quote appears conventional. (Facebook itself just has 1.2 billion individuals.) WhatsApp likewise does a lot greater than "text-messaging." It enables customers to send out images, videos, and voicemails to every other. Basically, it allows customers to do a great deal of just what Facebook does. So, again, Facebook actually does seem buying "the following Facebook."

-WhatsApp already has an effective revenue model, as well as other successful messaging applications are revealing the possibility for it to include a lot more. WhatsApp ostensibly charges its customers $1 per year after the very first year. ("Seemingly" because I have actually never become aware of any person actually paying this $1). Assuming most present customers end up paying the $1/year, that's a prospective revenue stream of a number of hundred million bucks a year from WhatsApp's current profits version alone. At the same time, other messaging apps like Line and WeChat have shown the power of "stickers," user-to-user payments, ecommerce, and also other profits streams. When you have as several customers as WhatsApp, producing even only a few dollars per year per customer produces a substantial business.

-WhatsApp has really affordable, so it needs to eventually be extremely rewarding. WhatsApp currently has only 55 staff members. Thinking an all-in cost of $200,000 each worker, that's a complete cost base of $11 million. Let's assume WhatsApp expands to, say, 300 employees over the following few years. After that it will have a cost base of just $50-$75 million. At the same time, if the company's development trajectory proceeds, it might easily be pulling in more than $1 billion a year of profits in a couple of years. Nearly all of that would certainly be profit.

-The names of all the clever people that articulated Facebook itself a "fad" or "worthless" and dissed every new investment in the company as "moronic" can load a publication. Most individuals have regularly undervalued the power, development possibility, and also worth of the leading social platforms, including Facebook. Facebook's $1 billion purchase of Instagram, for instance, which was after that a revenueless firm with 13 employees, was seen as evidence that Mark Zuckerberg was an unaware child that had no company running a major firm. On the other hand, Facebook is now valued at $175 billion, and also Instagram is considered one of the smartest preemptive procurements in history. Nineteen billion dollars for WhatsApp is a much bolder bet compared to Instagram, yet it, also, can end up looking a lot smarter compared to lots of people think.

Yes, yet is WhatsApp truly worth $19 billion?

The short answer is: No person understands. There are some financial scenarios in which WhatsApp might end up being "worth" (in a limited financial sense) a lot greater than $19 billion. There are various other scenarios where it could end up being worth a lot much less. The only answerable concern now is whether WhatsApp was worth $19 billion to Facebook.