Vanessa Suarez | @VanessaSuarez__ Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is notorious for purchasing apps, like Instagram, at extravagant prices. Facebook’s newest acquisition is the globally popular WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform messaging app which allows you to exchange text messages and short voice-mails without having to pay for SMS, according to Whatsapp. Whatsapp is available for popular operating systems and phones. The first year of WhatsApp is free, and after the first year users are given the opportunity to extend the subscription for a yearly payment of $0.99 USD.
The Whatsapp acquisition to Facebook was a staggering $19 billion in stocks and cash. Why exactly was Facebook so interested in WhatsApp? WhatsApp sends around 20 million messages per day, which is double the amount sent by Facebook Messenger, according to The Telegraph. Facebook strategically acquired the app to open the world of possibilities – 465 million users or, better yet, potential customers. Facebook’s goal has always been to help people connect with each other; WhatsApp is just another way to reach that goal.
The future of WhatsApp is bright and full of growth. After being acquired by Facebook, the app announced that full service voice calling will be available in upcoming months. Voice calling will first be available to Apple devices and Google’s Android operating system, with Windows phone and Blackberry to follow, according to CNN. Adding the voice call feature to the app will bring WhatsApp front and center with leading chat tools like Skype and Vonage.
WhatsApp for Business
What’s the practicality for a personal messenger app for business across the globe? WhatsApp is widely known throughout parts of the world where SMS messaging is almost completely out of the question. Since its $19 billion acquisition to Facebook, the app‘s popularity began to grow within the United States. The app is easy to acquire and easy to manage, the only thing businesses need is a WhatsApp phone number to begin communicating with customers and clients.
WhatsApp allows businesses to directly connect to prospective clients and customers quickly and efficiently, for free. In countries where WhatsApp is widely known, and frequently used, businesses have begun to add their WhatsApp phone number on advertisements and websites to let consumers know they can be reached via WhatsApp, according to Inc.com. Not only can WhatsApp help businesses communicate locally, but WhatsApp can be used to expand businesses across the globe into new markets in South America, India and Asia – without running up the phone bill.