jueves, 20 de febrero de 2014

Why Facebook needs to buy WhatsApp

Many already refer to the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook as the operation of the year in the technology market. Not for less. The Facebook movement is not only huge level figures, but puts a preventive vaccine to one of the future issues that concerned Zuckerberg: flight traffic and users.

For its meteoric growth

The figure of 19,000 million dollars paid exorbitant Facebook is look where you look. No less than 19 times what Facebook paid at the time by Instagram.

Was it worth buying Instagram? According to a report published in January this year by GlobalWebIndex, social network Photographic grew 23% last quarter. That's more than what they accomplished Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest boards in the same period, so yes. Logically Zuckerberg is very happy with this purchase.

If we talk about growth, WhatsApp is a rocket. The graph made public by Facebook itself says it all. The messaging application users reached 419 million in its first four years. Only nine months ago, the application was only 200 million users. Its growth rate is 73% in a sector, telecommunications, where the average is around 10 or 20%, and where you can be considered a case of huge success if you reach 50% growth.

Do not forget either that Whatsapp has achieved this by charging for the application in a market saturated with advertising other programs, without investing a penny on marketing. All its growth has been viral.

Being a "new" social network

Currently, WhatsApp has about 450 million active users. That's almost half of Facebook users, and more than twice as Twitter users (215 million), but the important thing is not what you have, but what you can achieve. WhatsApp is used especially in the U.S., where it has much room for growth. Also, breaks records outside the United States. In Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain or Mexico, WhatsApp consumes a quarter of the total time spent with mobile. It is the "new" social network.

Latin America is a market with huge potential for WhatsApp, especially now that the decline of Blackberry has driven millions of users to adopt WhatsApp on your new Android handsets.

But WhatsApp is not only the exponent of a growing market. It is the prime example of a trend of major concern within Facebook: the leap to new generations of mobile messaging as a substitute for traditional social networks. The age of Facebook users upload, and many teens do not want to be in the same chat room where their parents are.

The figures in this leak users still were not significant, but if sufficiently alarming that Facebook tried to buy Snapchat by 3.000 million in November 2013. Those responsible for this popular application among younger rejected the offer, so I decided to let Zuckerberg nonsense and go for the jackpot: WhatsApp. The bet has left her face, but it was that or keep leaving chips on the table until it might be too late.

The Next Facebook Messenger?

Both Facebook and WhatsApp have been quick to make clear that both platforms will be kept separate. The CEO of Whatsapp has also ensured that its application will remain ad-free. It is hard to believe that Zuckerberg and Koum keep that promise, but surely they do in the short and medium term. At the end of the day Facebook has taken one and a half to announce Advertise on Instagram, and even today is inserting very cautiously to avoid arousing the ire of the user.

If we had to bet, I would do so against an eventual merger into Facebook Whatsapp Messenger. The first reason is that the messaging platform WhatsApp does not get to the shoes height in popularity. The second reason is that there are no precedents. Instagram Instagram remains when he could have integrated into the imaging platform of Facebook. The social network even seems to show signs of wanting to break up with your own kernel Paper presentation, your newsreader with integrated social updates.

WhatsApp comes to join this collection of applications with a single common goal: to keep traffic and users within the same giant theme park without it very clear to them. People are suspicious of large corporations, and so the growth path of commitment to a decentralized Facebook image. And if that means separating the social network applications different name and appearance for everyone, so be it.

Because privacy is not an obstacle

Assuming that the institutions responsible for such operations between large companies do not object to the purchase, the union Facebook - WhatsApp only guess was an obstacle, and is not a very serious: privacy.

The battle for who and how to access our information on Facebook has been a constant pain in the head to Facebook. Now that the social network is done with WhatsApp, concern for who knows our phone number or access our conversations adds to the old demons of Facebook. WhatsApp also has very good reputation in this regard.

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