Facebook Drops $19B to Catch Up Abroad

Facebook Messenger has been getting destroyed in Europe and emerging markets. That's the reason behind Facebook's eye-popping $19 billion purchase of messaging service WhatsApp, announced Wednesday. As TechCrunch points out:


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 Messenger to catch up, as you can see in the 2013 chart above. Facebook either had to surrender the linchpin to mobile social networking abroad, or pony up and acquire WhatsApp before it got any bigger. It chose the latter.

Founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, former Yahoo executives, WhatsApp sees around 70 percent of its 450 million users active on a daily basis. The New York Times broke down the numbers to Facebook paying $40 per user. 

Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly been circling WhatsApp for the past 2 to 3 years and pulled the trigger before the price went any higher.

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected,” he added, referring to Koum, WhatsApp’s chief executive.

Facebook may have lost out on SnapChat, but the company is in a better position now to gain the world, at least in terms of the messaging market.

Image credit: Sean MacEntee/Flickr

Trusting your instincts is lazy: Poker pro Liv Boeree on Big Think Edge

International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to make decisions with the clarity of a World Series Poker Champion.
  • Liv Boeree teaches analytical thinking for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

7 essential Eastern philosophy books

Discover the holistic and all-encompassing philosophies of the ancient East.

Culture & Religion
  • The books of Zen, Tao and Confucius thought dispense with wisdom.
  • Read fundamental texts like the I Ching, which are thousands of years old.
  • Thought-provoking views from Ram Dass and Herman Hesse's classic books on coming of age and enlightenment.
Keep reading Show less

Here's when machines will take your job, as predicted by A.I. gurus

An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.

Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images
Surprising Science

While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.

Keep reading Show less

Are you an overbuyer or an underbuyer?

One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.

Videos
  • Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
  • One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
  • Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.