Telegram Messenger is the blockbuster app of the moment as backlash against the Facebook-WhatsApp merger gathers steam. Anti-WhatsApp sentiment has helped the obscure Russian app to become a top 5 iPhone download in 64 countries as WhatsApp slips. In the classic messaging app bellwether market of Spain, WhatsApp has dropped to No. 20 on the iPhone download chart as Telegram has soared to No. 1. More →
Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has already stuck a dagger in many carriers’ SMS revenues and now it looks to repeat the same trick for their voice calling revenues as well. Barron’s writes that WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum told Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week that WhatsApp plans to roll out a voice calling feature sometime in the second quarter of 2014, which would pit the app not only against mobile carriers for messaging services but also against IP-based calling services such as Skype, BBM and Line. More →
Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp does a good job of showing just how much the wireless carriers failed to capitalize on messaging. It was their game to lose, with SMS built in as the default messaging client on just about every phone. If they had drastically lowered their prices, they could be where WhatsApp is today. Instead, a new report from Ovum Ltd. shows just how much carriers are losing each year to alternative messaging clients. More →
Facebook stunned the tech world this week when it announced that it was paying $16 billion up front along with $3 billion in vested payments to buy WhatsApp, the incredibly popular messaging app that has 450 million users. We’d already read reports suggesting that Google was willing to pay up to $10 billion for WhatsApp but now The Information’s Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin report that Google was actually willing to beat Facebook’s offer for the company, meaning that WhatsApp could have potentially been worth even more than the $19 billion that Facebook is shelling out to buy it. More →
The popular WhatsApp messaging app got even more attention following the unexpected $19 billion Facebook purchase, with various reports revealing even more details about the company. Interestingly, Brian Acton’s tweets from previous years reveal some of the factors that led to the creation of WhatsApp. Before starting the venture with Jan Koum, Acton applied for jobs with both Twitter and Facebook… and both companies shot him down.
Facebook’s stunning $16 billion purchase of WhatsApp is both good news and bad news for BlackBerry. On the good news side, it means that the company’s popular BlackBerry Messenger service suddenly looks a lot more valuable than what many people had once thought — this explains why BlackBerry shares are trading significantly higher on the day after the Facebook-WhatsApp announcement. More →
WhatsApp’s global success has been nothing short of epic, of course, By now, the app is hitting 450 million monthly active users. It’s a reach that nobody thought a sleek and simple text messaging app could ever achieve. But there is a problem with the messaging app market in general and all leading apps share the same core weakness. Consumers are really, really fickle in this particular product segment. This is not a market where one behemoth like Facebook can waltz in and simply displace its rivals. This is a market where even an 80% share of smartphone users offers no protection. More →
Why did Facebook just buy WhatsApp for $16 billion? Probably because if it didn’t, Google would have picked up the popular mobile messaging app for $10 billion. Two unnamed sources tell Fortune that Google reportedly made a $10 billion offer to buy WhatsApp that was apparently turned down in favor of Facebook’s much larger offer. In addition to offering less cash, Google also reportedly didn’t offer WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum a seat on its board of directors as Facebook did. More →
When WhatsApp launched in 2009, no one predicted that it would grow to be a multibillion-dollar company. However, Facebook on Wednesday said that it planned to buy the hugely popular social messaging app for a stunning $16 billion. In its official announcement, Facebook says that it will pay $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp plus $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. Facebook also says that “the agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.”
Japanese internet powerhouse Rakuten announced that it acquired Viber for $900 million. Viber has 300 million registered users and is known for its strength in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. The acquisition will no doubt reignite speculation about other mid-tier messaging apps. Behind the powerhouses like WhatsApp and LINE there is a cluster of messaging apps with strong growth and more than 100 million registered users – including two hailing from the picturesque hamlet of Waterloo, Ontario. Both Kik and BBM are on their way to hitting 150 million registered users by the end of 2014. And both have intriguing regional strengths that might make them as valuable — or even more valuable — than Viber. More →
The number of daily SMS messages exchanged globally is tough to measure but by some estimates, it may have just been surpassed by the number of WhatsApp message exchanged each day. While speaking on stage during the DLD conference in Germany, WhatsApp CEO confirmed that his cross-platform mobile messaging service now processes more than 50 billion total messages each day. That figure includes 36 billion outbound messages and 18 billion inbound messages. As noted by mobile analyst Benedict Evans, that figure may have surpassed global SMS volumes according to some estimates. Koum also noted that WhatsApp is now home to more than 430 million monthly active users, making it the most popular mobile messaging service in the world by a staggering margin.
Just days ago, WhatsApp announced it had hit 400 million monthly active users globally — a phenomenal achievement. But in the fickle and trendsetting U.S. app market, Apple’s app store shows just how much WhatsApp’s grip on American consumers has weakened. The period right after Christmas is closely followed by the app industry. These are the days when a flood of new iPhones are being activated, many by teenagers getting their first smartphone. The current trends reflect the priorities of a new generation of smartphone owners. More →