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Is Facebook trying to buy WhatsApp?

We all know that Facebook has seen a little financial trouble recently, the ads on their home page and obvious moves towards increased monetization are proof of this.  Marck Zuckerberg has already made it clear that they plan to crack the mobile market and now it’s rumoured that the acquisition of mobile messaging application, WhatsApp could be the next move for the social media giant.

In what looks like a bid to control how the entire planet communicates, Facebook seems to be trying to get it’s big blue mitts on the the No. 2 paid app in the U.S. version of the App Store. The popular communication tool allows messaging via mobile, while aggregating the user’s email, social network and instant chat contacts.  TechCrunch broke the rumoured sale this morning but remained unsure on how a marriage  of the two powerhouses would work considering their very different takes on advertising and monetization.  Facebook critics haven’t been kind about the increased prominence of ads on the site and Whatsapp co-founder, Jan Koum, has been quoted as saying that “Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought.”  Koum is known for his dislike of ‘sell-out’ companies that make a quick a buck by bombarding customers with product and service ads and this is one of the reasons why WhatsApp is paid for.  So that the desperate scramble for cash through third party promotion can be left to someone else.  With totally different schools of thought when it comes to increasing revenue, it sounds like there may be trouble on the horizon if both companies are going to stick to their current business models.

If the deal does go ahead it will be a coup for Facebook who will get to enjoy the growth of a company that has ‘users in over a hundred countries covering 750 mobile networks, on the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S40, Symbian and Windows Phone platforms.’  Sales of the app will give Facebook some revenue outside advertising and they would be able to tap into the WhatsApp customer base that currently sends over 1 billion messages per day.  As Zuckerberg admitted earlier this year, “The big thing is obviously going to be mobile. There are 5 billion people in the world who have phones.”



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