Facebook always seems to be on the prowl when it comes to buying out social networking competitors. While it still hasn’t acquired Snapchat, Zuckerberg’s social network just purchased the on-the-rise messaging app cleverly coined, “WhatsApp” for a whopping 19 billion dollars. The move is said to be a promising one because of the extremely active users the app has, as well as the relatively good price Facebook paid.
While Facebook has continued to stay both dominant and newsworthy, I can’t help but get the feeling that Mark Zuckerberg is scared that he may end up like MySpace’s forgotten founder, Tom. It is this concern that I feel motivates him to unnecessarily wipe out promising small businesses and start-ups. Every time I hear of a new app or website, it seems to be followed by mumbles of speculation about how Zuckerberg and Facebook will react to and deal with the new entity.
I understand the appeal of “WhatsApp,” from the active users and the Instagram-like potential for success, but I just don’t understand how drastically different WhatsApp’s messaging system is from Facebook’s current one. Even if the app will help Facebook reach out to young people and other emerging markets, Facebook already has its own means of doing what WhatsApp does.
The company needs to understand that it can’t simply swallow up every other idea or feature in order to remain relevant. If Facebook keeps this up, some may start to consider their behavior to be on the verge of monopolistic.
Quote: “”We don’t think the company overpaid for WhatsApp. We think WhatsApp and Facebook were likely to more closely resemble each other over time, potentially creating noteworthy competition, which can now be avoided.”