In case you haven’t heard, last week Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp is a mobile application that allows users to message other users without having to pay short message service fees. This app is currently available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia users. The app allows individuals to use the Internet data plans that they use for email and web browsing, resulting in no additional costs.
On the WhatsApp blog, one of the founders assured it’s 450 million active users worldwide that nothing will change now that Facebook bought the company. However, we believe that there will be a few changes that occur now that the two have joined forces.
Here are our 3 predictions for what’s next for WhatsApp:
1. 450 million users will be a thing of the past – The amount of publicity that this acquisition has received will cause the amount of users to skyrocket. Those who were unaware of this app have now been informed with the countless news reports, online articles and Facebook statuses about the partnership. Individuals will likely be persuaded to download this app to avoid paying text messaging fees in addition to their Internet data plan fee. There will also be the group of curious individuals who download this app to see what all of the recent hype is about.
2. Advertising opportunities – Similar to most social networks when they start off, WhatsApp does not currently sell advertisements. The company has prided itself for not cluttering the user experience with ads. We predict that this will change in a similar fashion as Facebook, Twitter and other networks. We believe that the app will hold off on implementing advertising for the short term, to allow time for additional users to download the app without being discouraged by ads. Mark Zuckerberg believes that WhatsApp is on the track to connecting one billion people. Once the amount of users is closer to that number, if not sooner, advertising opportunities will likely emerge.
3. Facebook integration – It only seems natural for more of a Facebook integration to occur. Currently you can sign up using your Facebook information but we believe that you soon will be able to do more than just that. Users may eventually be able to share photos directly from Facebook to their friends on WhatsApp, update their status and even like friends’ statuses through the app.
These are just a few of our predictions for what will come from the recent Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp. What do you think is next for WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments section below or give us a call so we can chat. We would love to hear your thoughts.