lubricus writes "Facebook announced plans to acquire WhatsApp for four billion cash, plus 12 billion in Facebook shares.
Additionally, WhatsApp employees and founders will receive three billion in restricted stock which will vest in four years. Facebook also agreed to a one billion dollar break up fee.
WhatsApp says they have message volume which approaches the global SMS volume, and hope to have one billion users. Even at those figures, Facebook is paying $16 per user.
I'm guessing WhatsApp will send Snapchat developers a cake."
I don't use whatsapp but I know a lot of people that do, the model whatsapp has is that you pay a yearly subscription of (uk money here...) ~69p (last time I hearD). So from the start whatsapp has a very profitable model. Facebook have said they are going to treat it as a seperate company and the person running it will continue running it. If it stays this way then the end user won't notice any difference.
In terms of privacy, if you use and like whatsapp now you have already agreed to the incredible policy of having all your user contacts stored on the whatsapp server (therefore they know you address book) and to allow anyone to add you in to their phone book with out your permission (although you can block it). I'm not sure facebook could do any worse here, I guess facebook gains a whole new mechanism of how to link phone numbers to different sets of people on facebook now (so there could be some cause for concern here)
Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing we are certain the price tag is astronomically too high! What ever facebook eventually do will never be enough to make up for all the money spent on it
All chat apps have their own privacy concerns, people don't just run these services for free and expect nothing in return. You have to give something up for the model to work. I for one don't really care if people search my chat messages. They are pretty mundane and boring :)
Is an annual fee of only 69p per user actually profitable? That little for unlimited messaging for a year?
AFAIK there isn't a yearly subscription for WhatsApp - I have the app as my whole family use it and I've not seen any subscription details anywhere in the app itself (Except Settings > Payment info > Service: Lifetime.)
I am not sure if the 69p thing is global but whatsapp does have a subscription service that comes up after a year of free use
(Whats the write way to post URL's in comments?)
Well I'll be a canned ham... odd.
I've found an iTunes receipt from May 2012 saying I paid 69p for WhatsApp but I don't remember seeing a subscription update May 2013 - maybe I managed to buy it before the subscription fee came into place? (Thus seeing Service: Lifetime in my Settings)
Can anyone with WhatsApp confirm what they see in Settings > Account > Payment Information > Service?
In terms of privacy, if you use and like whatsapp now you have already agreed to the incredible policy of having all your user contacts stored on the whatsapp server (therefore they know you address book) and to allow anyone to add you in to their phone book with out your permission (although you can block it).
You mean, like when someone inputs a number in her addressbook, or looks up your number in the white pages? Outrageous!
As for the buying price, I guess it is more likely to be related to their own stock: Valuation has been pretty unimpressive so far, and since a great chunk of the price is in Facebook stock ($12b) the operation can make it go up a bit and also help in giving investors a good impression now that the number of users has ceased to skyrocket.