Facebook’s $19 billion takeover of WhatsApp seems smarter and smarter. CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared on the Q4 2017 earnings call today that the WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion users and eyes 60 billion messages conveyed per day. That’s contrasted to 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily active users back in July.
WhatsApp Now Has 1.5 Billion Users
The extensive growth makes the Facebook’s decision to spend more than $19 billion to obtain WhatsApp look perceptive. At the time in 2014, WhatsApp had only 450 million monthly active users and 315 million daily active users.
In a piddling to Snapchat, Zuckerberg also remarked that Instagram and WhatsApp are the No. 1 and No. 2 most successful Story-sharing products, pointing to those apps’ clones of Snapchat Stories. Each now each owns 300 million daily active users, opposed to 178 million on Snapchat as a whole. He also states that Facebook’s research infers that across apps, total social media posting to Stories will soon surpass that of feed posting.
People believed Facebook was crazy to pay such a high price. But messaging is the most critical and time-consuming activity on mobile. And if Facebook didn’t buy WhatsApp, Google probably would have, and messaging would be a two-horse race. Instead, Facebook is massively dominant everywhere, but China, between the 1.3 billion-user Messenger and WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion users.
Now Facebook is finally getting serious about monetizing WhatsApp with the recent launch of the WhatsApp for Business app. Facebook plans to charge business owners for further commerce, customer service or broadcasting tools. And with such a massive audience, merchants will be clamoring for them.
With the Snapchat intimidation neutralized mainly via Instagram, Facebook’s most significant competitor is itself. Now it has to struggle to disarm any future privacy crises or other scandals preemptively, and co-opt the “Time Well Spent” rallying call before it becomes a “Time to leave Facebook” movement.
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