The astonishingly high price paid for the messaging service WhatsApp underscores how mobile apps are transforming the way we communicate, shaking up the global telecom sector.
Facebook’s deal to pay up to $19 billion for WhatsApp comes on the heels of a $900 million purchase of another messaging service, Viber, by Japanese Internet giant Rakuten.
And the California-based messaging firm Snapchat, known fo its disappearing messages, reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
Some analysts expect more deals to come now that it’s clear that messaging is becoming a killer app that can enable mobile phone users around the globe to get free from their local carriers and communicate freely worldwide.
Declan Lonergan, analyst at Yankee Group, said the new focus on messaging “signals the growing importance of IP communications in consumers’ lives.”
“Facebook’s valuation of WhatsApp is shockingly high, but so too is the risk of being left behind as these apps become dominant platforms for communications, media distribution, social engagement and advertising,” Lonergan said in a blog post.
BlackBerry in focus
The huge deal for WhatsApp has shined a spotlight on BlackBerry, the struggling smartphone maker which also has a messaging service with 80 million customers using Android and Apple devices.
Read more at: Phys.org