Before going for the Analysis of the deal let have a look into Some interesting numbers
- USD 104 billion Facebook’s valuation at the time of its IPO. USD 16 Billion Amount Facebook raised in its IPO.
- USD 25 Billion Twitter’s valuation at the time of its IPO.
- USD 2.1 Billion Amount Twitter raised in its IPO.
- USD 1 Billion Price Facebook paid for Instagram in 2012.
- USD 8 Million Amount of capital invested in WhatsApp in 2011 by Sequoia Capital.
- 400,000,000: The number of active users, according to a December blog post from WhatsApp.
- 450,000,000: The number of active users, today, according to Facebook’s press release.
- 70%: Percentage of users who are active on the app on a daily basis.
- 1,000,000: The company says it’s adding more than 1 million new users a day.
- 945,000,000: Monthly active users on Facebook, as of Dec. 31.
- 230,00,000: Number of daily active users on Twitter.
- 50 The number of employees at WhatsApp
- Five: WhatsApp is the fifth most downloaded app on Android devices.
- Zero: Number of ads that appear on WhatsApp. The service doesn’t sell ads
With 450 million monthly users and a million more signing up each day, WhatsApp was just too far ahead in the international mobile messaging race for Facebook to catch up, as you can see in the above chart. Facebook either had to surrender the linchpin to mobile social networking abroad, or pony up and acquire WhatsApp before it got any bigger.
Facebook recently said on its earnings call a few weeks ago that its November relaunch of Messenger led to a 70 percent increase in usage, with many more messages being sent. But much of that was likely in the United States and Canada where the standalone messaging app war is still to be won.
Internationally, Facebook was late to the Messenger party. It didn’t launch until 2011 after Facebook bought Beluga, and at the time it was centered around group messaging where SMS was especially weak.
WhatsApp launched in 2009 with the right focus on a lean, clean, and fast mobile messaging app. And while the international messaging market is incredibly fragmented, it was able to gain a major presence where Messenger didn’t as you can also see in the chart above.
Unlike PC-based social networking, there is no outstanding market leader in mobile messaging. Still, WhatsApp absolutely dominates in markets outside of the U.S. like Europe and India.
WhatsApp was much more popular than Facebook in several large developing markets, according to data from a small survey conducted by Jana Mobile and published by The Information (paywalled). In India, Brazil, and Mexico, respondees were 12X to 64X more likely to say WhatsApp is their most used messaging app, compared to Facebook. Those are big countries with tons of users that Facebook needs.
It’s also impossible for Facebook to acquire certain other Asian competitors like WeChat, which is the one hope of Chinese mega-giant Tencent to have a global consumer product.
So it’s clear that WhatsApp had a strategic interest to Facebook, and we know that the two talked from time to time.
One might wonder how WhatsApp will ever earn back the money it cost to buy, but this acquisition wasn’t about increasing Facebook’s total revenue. It was about surviving the global shift to mobile.