WhatsApp is founded by Jan Koum who is now working as a Director in Facebook. Everybody was shocked when Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in February 2014, and that was just the service of the app.
WhatsApp is now bigger than Twitter and LinkedIn measured with MAU`s.
Jan Koum revealed on Facebook that WhatsApp has more than 900 million monthly active users. That`s up more than 200 million since the beginning of this year, which means that the messaging app could reach the magical number of 1 billion sooner than we know, and probably before the end of the year. What is that suppose to mean?
It means that Facebook have control over two of the biggest messenger apps in the world. In comparison; Tencent`s WeChat is coming in at third with 600 million MAU`s. Nr 4 is Viber (aquired by Rakuten) with about 240 million MAU`s.
(Picture: WhatsApp`s Monthly Active Users in Millions)
But WhatsApp is a disaster if you measure their revenue with both Twitter and LinkedIn. 900 million users doesn`t automaticly mean a multi billion dollar business. Not so far. WhatsApp generated $15 million in revenue in the first half of 2014 and had a record loss of $232,5 million. As you may know; WhatsApp is charging $1 dollar per year for using it.
Facebook`s goal is 1 billion MAU`s and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked investors for more patience regarding their monetization. He said he ask for some patience on this to do this correctly. The fact is that Facebook`s messenger is bigger than WhatsApp, so I bet they will merge those two to make a megaplatform in the messenger world.
So far, they have been focusing on their user base and once they have reached their goal of 1 billion users, they will try to turn this into a new money-machine. It can be a B2C channel that can be one of Facebook`s main source of income in the future.
I personally often chat with many people from Asia, and all of them (100%) use Skype. Facebook`s messenger is more popular in the U.S than WhatsApp, but WhatsApp is more popular in Europe and Asia than Facebook`s messenger. Anyway, the number of similar App`s will not make it easy for Facebook in this market, but their strongest card is their user base.
Facebook offered Snapchat $3 billion but rejected. Now, Snapchat is trying to raise $500 million at a $20 billion valuation. The company has become a major competitor to Facebook`s News Feed. In comparison; Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion and have over 300 million users with a $35 billion valuation.
Snapchat is expanding rapidly, and its stories product for broadcasting photos and videos is a big hit for many teenagers. Snapcash is also very popular that lets friends transfer money to each other through their Square Cash. Snapschat`s new Discover portal is also very popular, which lets you collect snap-formatted content from CNN, Vice, ESPN and Comedy Central.
There aint no doubt; these apps lets you call a friend, a taxi, you can pay movie tickets, pay to your friend, shop with it, search and much more. Instead of using many different apps and many different passwords, these apps can make your life more easy by using one single chat. It`s a hit.
With Facebook`s massive user base, they can merge Facebook`s messenger App with WhatsApp and turn it into a multi billion dollar machine.