List of mergers and acquisitions by Meta Platforms Wikipedia

Full BioAlison Deutsch works at the ACLU as the direct marketing data manager. In identifying mobile usage trends, Onavo became a crucial tool for Facebook to survey its competition. But that all changed in October 2013, when Facebook purchased Onavo for $100 million.

when did facebook buy whatsapp

People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. WhatsApp has proven that it could be more than just a way for friends to get in touch with other friends, but rather an entire marketplace that is powered by the innovative and inviting future of business. Although some people may prefer what WhatsApp once was, the future that Meta has offered WhatsApp has allowed the application to remain relevant during an age when its original purpose has died out. WhatsApp is now the property of Meta Incorporated, which also owns Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and many other technology-based companies. Instead of offering an application that focused solely on the experience that the user had with the application, the focus became to find the right gimmick to pull more users in.

By the end of 2011, Facebook boasted 845 million monthly average users according to its S1 filing, while Twitter reportedly claimed over 100 million. In one 2012 email, made public through the House investigation, Zuckerberg highlighted how Instagram had an edge on mobile, an area where Facebook was falling behind. In another, the CEO said Instagram could hurt Facebook even if it did not become huge. “The businesses are nascent but the networks are established, the brands are already meaningful and if they grow to a large scale they could be disruptive to us,” Zuckerberg wrote.

By acquiring Onavo and turning it into a private tool, the company took away one of the best avenues for understanding mobile trends outside of Facebook’s ecosystem. The social network was then free to track app usage and trends even at very early stages. If a potential Facebook killer was on the rise, Facebook could hypothetically spot it before anyone else. Moreover, WhatsApp — which lacked the market reach of Facebook — was drawing from the same pool of limited attention. And with the rise of other messaging apps like WeChat, Kik, Line, and Viber, which all showed promising signs of growth , Facebook saw both vulnerability and opportunity in WhatsApp. Among those shocked by the news was Dirk Stoop, who was the product manager in charge of Facebook’s Photos products and leading development of the Camera app.

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By the end of the year, Google claimed 90 million monthly active users for the service, according to executives on an earnings call. At the time of its acquisition, Instagram had 30 million users, and, even though it was growing rapidly, it wasn’t yet making money. WhatsApp boasted more than 450 million monthly active users when it was acquired.

  • The company remained independent up until it was acquired by Meta for $1.0 billion in 2012.
  • Through this acquisition, the tentacles of Facebook are closer to reaching billions of people, and with a market of that size, Facebook is sure to find a way to eventually cash in.
  • The company’s name initially was FaceMash, which was changed to TheFacebook, eventually dropping “The” from its name to become Facebook, before being changed yet again to Meta in Oct. 2021.
  • The four most downloaded apps of the decade are all owned by Facebook, according to app tracker App Annie.
  • Based on everything I do know, though, I think the odds are that it will end up looking brilliant.

With Meta recently changing its name to escape its Facebook-based image, it makes sense that its other businesses like WhatsApp are also getting completely overhauled and given new meaning and purpose. WhatsApp has come a long way since Meta first purchased the messaging platform, and it has come an even further way since its creation. The goal of WhatsApp Business API is to generate more revenue for Meta and the business customers that decided to use the service.

How Seed Funding Benefitted WhatsApp

“Communication and social media apps are consumer favourites, accounting for seven of the top 10 apps by downloads this decade,” wrote Mr Venkatraman. Facebook must buy its way into “ephemeral” and/or “dark social” communications. Just think about all the stuff you talk about, the photos you send and the links you share when you’re communicating privately — if not through WhatsApp then through something else like e-mail — instead of broadcasting to your Timeline.

In 2017, Meta announced the creation of WhatsApp Business, which was a way for businesses to get in contact with their consumers. WhatsApp had a difficult time gaining any appeal in the United States, so Koum and Acton focused on taking the application to Europe and Asia. The application was much better for people who needed to speak with loved ones across the world than in the United States. The application was finally ready to leave its beta phase and become an official product.

After upgrading the operating model to WhatsApp 2.0, WhatsApp was able to handle internet-based instant messaging. As Meta begins trying to create a new identity outside of Facebook, some people wonder if the handling of its applications and branches will ever change. The creators of the application were devoted to giving users an affordable and reliable way to connect with other users around the world. The application only began to charge a one-time fee of $1 because it wanted to be able to share its application on the Apple Store. A defensive acquisition is a strategy that consists of a company buying another company as a “defense” against market downturns or possible takeovers. WhatsApp’s six-month revenue for the first half of 2014 totaled $15.9 million, and the company incurred a staggering net loss of $232.5 million.

when did facebook buy whatsapp

From its inception in 2011, it has grown into a messaging app that sends out more than 20 billion messages a day. My colleague Harry McCracken made a list of essential startup acquisitions, and WhatsApp is the biggest the most deals don’t come anywhere. For example, Comcast Time wants to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.

Acquisitions have been key to growing these businesses and Meta’s revenue in general. Meta’s strategy has been to buy potential rivals before they can get too big. In the process, the company sometimes has paid exceptionally high prices for some deals. The company has also drawn attention from the Federal Trade Commission due to potential anticompetitive practices, with the FTC recently demanding data on unreported purchases from Meta as well as other big tech companies. Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp for $16 billion (about £9.5b/AU$17.7b) isn’t supposed to change the popular instant messaging app, but it certainly changes the landscape of the real-time messaging services.

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With a shared mission of enhancing global connectivity via internet services, the merging of forces will likely accelerate growth for both companies. Facebook agreed to pay $19.6 billion—adding $3.6 billion to the original price as compensation to WhatsApp employees for staying on board at Facebook. However, Facebook share prices soared to $77.56 from $68 when the regulatory approval process concluded in October. By then, the agreed-upon 184 million Facebook shares inflated the final sale price by an additional $1.7 billion. With so much cash thrown around in Silicon Valley, it’s not easy for an acquisition to cause a stir.

So buying WhatsApp allows Facebook to both own “the next Facebook” and prevent “the next Facebook” from eating Facebook’s lunch. Most of Meta’s acquisitions have primarily been “talent acquisitions” and acquired products are often shut-down. In 2009, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a question on Quora, titled “What startups would be good acquisitions for Facebook?”, receiving 79 answers. While continuing with a pattern of primarily talent acquisitions, other notable product focused acquisitions include the $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition and the $2 billion Oculus VR acquisition.

As part of our effort to improve the awareness of the importance of diversity in companies, we have highlighted the transparency of Meta’s commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and social responsibility. The below chart illustrates how Meta reports the diversity of its management and workforce. This shows if Meta discloses data about the diversity of its board of directors, C-Suite, general management, and employees overall, across a variety of markers. Similar to traditional text messaging, WhatsApp allows people to connect via their cellphone numbers. But instead of racking up texting fees, WhatsApp sends the actual messages over mobile broadband. That makes WhatsApp particularly cost effective for communicating with people overseas.

The acquisition supports Facebookand WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. Prior to today, no app has been more important than Instagram, which Facebook bought last year for $1 billion (about £599m, AU$1.1b) in cash and stock, and has kept its promise of keeping intact. It hasn’t merged the popular photo- and video-sharing service with its long-forgotten Camera app.


Assuming an all-in cost of $200,000 per employee, that’s a total cost base of $11 million. Let’s assume WhatsApp grows to, say, 300 employees over the next few years. Meanwhile, if the company’s growth trajectory continues, it could easily be pulling in more than $1 billion a year of revenue in a few years.

The heavy focus on WhatsApp for business use led to a brand-new type of a mobile application advertising. At the beginning of 2021, WhatsApp announced its new privacy policy, which would include mandatory data sharing with Meta, and users could no longer opt out. Many users who were opposed to Meta’s purchase of WhatsApp ended up removing the application from their devices.

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In June of 2009, Apple enabled its applications to have push reminders in hopes that this would lead consumers to use their phones and applications more often. Neither Acton nor Koum was looking to create a massive market or get rich off of their application. They didn’t want the last thing their users see when they close the app to be another advertisement, but rather, they want users to remember the loving conversations of friends who may not be able to be together in person. The WhatsApp team’s distaste for advertisements led them to expand on the reason that they didn’t sell ads on their application with a link that leads to a quote from Fight Club. While WhatsApp greatly benefited from the resources that Meta has been able to provide for it, not everyone is happy with what Meta has turned WhatsApp into, including one of the original creators of the application.

A WhatsApp that everyone uses uninterruptedly despite having a busy work schedule or problems is a way to connect people and a way to communicate with the closest person. WhatsApp has proven that it can catch the former, and Facebook has said that it has very little to do with WhatsApp, it could change that. Messaging can be a rich data source for Facebook’s core advertising business. It may not own every popular service, but it can be an influential player in its arsenal with various Instagram and WhatsApp tools. According to some, the popularity of Facebook Messenger has been declining day by day since WhatsApp’s launch. Since WhatsApp was using a mobile number as a source to send a message, it was a form of personal communication.

Although their decision to not have ads left them sleeping in their own office, Brian Acton and Jan Koum were devoted to their ideals for WhatsApp’s purpose. Others believe that the name change is just another way for Mark Zuckerberg’s company to try and save its reputation. In April 2018, when did facebook buy whatsapp Koum decided to step down from Facebook’s board of directors following disputes with Facebook over the company policies. However, later it was revealed that was still formally attached to the company. Monetize refers to the process of turning a non-revenue-generating item into cash.

The company’s name initially was FaceMash, which was changed to TheFacebook, eventually dropping “The” from its name to become Facebook, before being changed yet again to Meta in Oct. 2021. On the conference call, Facebook said it is not looking to drive revenue from WhatsApp in the near term, instead focusing on growth. Zuckerberg said he doesn’t anticipate trying to aggressively grow WhatsApp’s revenue until the service reaches “billions” of users. That’s not enough to justify a $19 billion price tag, so Facebook is almost certainly looking at other ways the messaging service could make money. It may not be able to own every popular service, but it can become the dominant player with different tools like Instagram and WhatsApp in its arsenal.

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people,” Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a statement at the time. WhatsApp already has a powerful revenue model, and other successful messaging apps are showing the potential for it to add many more. WhatsApp ostensibly charges its users $1 per year after the first year. (“Ostensibly” because I’ve never heard of anyone actually paying this $1). Assuming most current users end up paying the $1/year, that’s a potential revenue stream of several hundred million dollars a year from WhatsApp’s current revenue model alone.