I have been the contrarian on the Whatsapp deal with Facebook. I think this is an absolute steal for Facebook. Here is why I think that:
The email address was the unique id to identify anyone over the last 30 years. Turns out that’s only true for about a billion to maybe 2 Billion people. Now, almost everyone that has an email address (or will very soon) has a facebook account.
The mobile phone number is the new unique id. That will be the unique identification for the NEXT 2 Billion people OR more.
By any conservative measure, Whatsapp will be at 2 Billion people in 2 years. They have executed so well so far to get to 450 Million users that it seems very likely they will get there.
There is a small risk they may not, but a risk Zuck’s probably willing to take .
So, if you were Zuck and you got 2 Billion user’s unique id for 1/10th of the price of his company.
Twice the number of users at 1/10 of the price. That’s got SALE written all over it.
Why would you not do that?
FB has 1 + Billion users and is valued at $160 B with a revenue of $6 Billion.
WhatsApp will have 2 Billion users and is valued at $16 Billion and is breaking even / profitable already.
No brainer deal and an absolute steal in my mind.
The future of communication is up for grabs as well. Email is clearly not the preferred medium for my kids and the younger folks.
My kids only use Whatsapp. They also use YouTube as their search engine instead of Google or Bing.
These are the BIG changes being driven by MOBILE.
That’s the future. And Zuck now has gotten relatively cheap insurance against being a small player in mobile.