Facebook Has No Plans to Monetize WhatsApp

Mark Zuckerburg tells Reuters that he has no plans to monetize the recently acquired Whatsapp mobile service just yet.

Mark Zuckerburg, the founder and CEO of Facebook commented that the company has “no near-term plan” to make money from the world’s top messaging app.  Zuckerberg has also stated that placing ads on WhatsApp isn’t the way forward, which may put to rest the worries of users who feared this may happen.  Subscription to the app is free for the first year after which users pay a US$0.99 fee for lifetime usage.  Although Facebook may not be changing the business plan any time soon, the 500 million active WhatsApp users on the platform will add to their global reach and contribute to any expansion plans.  The acquisition of WhatsApp has significantly expanded Facebook’s mobile reach and adds to their database of cross-platform services.

The world’s most popular social network, Facebook, began its takeover of the global top messaging app, WhatsApp for US$19 billion in February, which rose to US$22 billion in recent months, following an increase in the value of Facebook’s stock.  WhatsApp was first released in 2009 by founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton.  The company has gained massive worldwide popularity over its five-year lifetime and has become a successful California-based corporation with over 50 employees.  The growing of the WhatsApp platform has been a game changer in the provision of mobile services, and data and SMS provision.  Commentators have stated that WhatsApp did to SMSing what Skype did to international landline phone calls.  We will likely see integration between features on Facebook Messenger, the mobile app providing chat and voice services in order to cater for WhatsApp’s lack of a voice calling feature.

Users may wonder what this means for them.  A concerning factor is that this is another move which will concentrate vast amounts of private data in the hands of a few powerful corporations, especially since Facebook’s business plan involves selling user data to advertisers.  On the bright side, it simply means that we may be provided with better technology with an increased ease of access due to unification.