Perhaps WhatsApp won't be merged with Facebook Messenger

Update (2014-02-20): Nathan makes a good point in the comments and I was also reminded of my post from about a year ago in which I considered the implications of just such an acquisition.

I was just reading the Facebook press release about its $16bn WhatsApp acquisition and noticed this quote by WhatsApp’s co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum:

WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.

Notice the phrase “partner with Mark and Facebook”? I was wondering earlier whether Facebook would find a way to combine WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger but this suggests Facebook may approach this the same way it approached the Instagram acquisition – leave the service running relatively independently and integrate its frameworks (including its terms of service and privacy policy) into Facebook’s frameworks and processes.

Also, bringing 450 million people into Facebook’s broader community does’t hurt either and the $16bn price tag gives you a sense of the value WhatsApp’s 450 million users has to Facebook.


  1. Nathan Jeffery avatar

    This is what MZ has to say: “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.”

    1. Paul avatar

      Good point!

  2. George Palmer avatar

    How many of the 450million do you think are NOT current facebook users ? I think he bought a lot of his current book.

    1. Paul avatar

      I’m not sure there is necessarily a huge amount of overlap. If anything, he may be reclaiming relatively inactive Facebook users who switched to WhatsApp for their social interaction.

  3. Nathan Jeffery avatar

    this articles offers some interesting insight, not sure how accurate it is though…$16b-exit-build-a-j2me-app

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