How Mark Zuckerberg Predicts That WhatsApp Will Help Connect The Whole World To The Internet
Facebook may have paid a hefty price for the acquisition of WhatsApp, but the mobile messaging company is under no pressure to justify that price tag, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckberg said yesterday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Zuckerberg's speech at the MWC was his first public appearance since Facebook announced that it would be buying WhatsApp for about $19 billion, a deal which the CEO is confident will be proven worth the money. All he expected WhatsApp to do is to continue to work in the same way it had as an independent company.
"They can focus for the next five years or so purely on connecting people," Zuckerberg said, before expressing how having the luxury of Facebook's resources allows WhatsApp to "focus on building out the business model," without having to force the issue when it comes to generating revenue.
Zuckerberg has, outright and blatantly, regarded WhatsApp as worth more than the $19 billion that it will end up costing Facebook. Yet, at the same time, his goal for the newly acquired company in not profit centric nor is it based on generating revenue that would vindicate such a hefty price tag.
While such logic may seem twisted, the thinking behind it falls right in line with Facebook's priorities as of late. The social network has simply been thinking beyond dollars signs lately, as it targets a goal that is worth more than any balance sheet.
Mark Zuckerberg has so far been the face of the Internet.org initiative, a global partnership, that includes the likes of tech giants Samsung and Qualcomm, and aims to bring Internet to the two thirds of the world that doesn't have it. It's a project that is both complex and, presumably, difficult. Zuckerberg's vision includes limited Internet services that are free.
With all the logistics surrounding the accomplishment of that goal (i.e. the building of better signal towers and, of course, providing the service) Zuck admits that Internet.org could lose money in the short term, telling the audience at MWC, "I think we're probably going to lose money on this for quite a while, [but] over time, if we can deliver this, there probably will be some benefit for Facebook."
The range of positives for the underserved parts of the world of that would have access to a breadth of knowledge is limitlessness. When it comes to Facebook's benefit, however, it's clear that it would come through their penetration of new markets.
WhatsApp, in whatever way, can help in hastening that penetration, as it has proven itself to be an app that's popular across all demographics. From Haiti to Holland, it's simplistic yet effective service is an asset to Facebook, which is targeting the connection of the whole world.
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