OK so the failed Facebook acquisition of SnapChat for $3 billion is old news (and even more ancient the news of Facebook acquiring Instagram for a cool $1 Billion). At the time, that valuation of $3 Billion and subsequent rejection by SnapChat nearly blew my mind. I couldn't believe CEO Evan Spiegel would turn down such an offer for a service that currently made little to no money. Maybe it is the inherent cheapskate in me, but this whole acquisition attempt by Mark Zuckerberg didn't really compute in my head. I guess I am not fully up to speed with the unique benefits of Snapchat, I always viewed it more as a curiosity than groundbreaking technology. Until I heard that a Chinese e-commerce company Tencent was potentially offering $4 billion...
But $3-4 billion is chump change compared to the $19 billion, shares, and board seats given to former food stamp recipient Jan Koum for selling the company WhatsApp that he founded. $19 BILLION?!? Initially I thought Zuckerberg was acting out of desperation or insanity. But WhatsApp does already have a base of over 450 million users and growing. It puts Facebook on the fast track to dominate instant messaging, and mine more data from another half a billion users. And of course Facebook will end up monetizing it one way or another to profit from this addition. This will most likely come with fees associated with WhatsApp use, ads, or paid/premium options for users or companies.
Now this is all in the wake of a very large and successful Twitter IPO, Weibo IPO rumors, and LinkedIn's announcement to prepare for the unlimited potential of the Chinese marketplace. There have also been rumors of Pinterest, Dropbox, and additional digital media IPO's. It is certainly going to be one hell of an interesting year with these gigantic social media moves quickly being made, along with some very conflicting overall economic indicators. Let's hope all of this hoopla translates into more innovation and user features, and not another Dot Com bubble burst.
As a proud global inbound marketer, I'm very excited to connect with the top business professionals in China!
Give Me Some Of That IPO / Acquisition Money!
C'mon Zuckerberg etc, I go on your pages every day :p
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