WhatsApp’s recent buy out by the social media giant Facebook for a whopping $19 billion has raised the eyebrows of not only its users but also experts in the internet and IM world.
The deal has been a clear winning strike for WhatsApp who were offered approximately $10 billion dollar but they declined the offer just about a year ago by Google. On the other hand, many experts feel that this deal may have come at a huge price to Facebook. WhatsApp has more than 450 million users and about a million users are adding every day. Facebook plans to use this huge subscriber base and grow it further in order to realize their vision of bringing the world together as per Mark Zuckerburg, Founder of Facebook Inc.
Since an IM application is as good as its number of users, one can say that Facebook has paid approximately $42 for every active user on WhatsApp. It can be further speculated that Facebook will be desperate to generate revenues from WhatsApp and hence bring some changes to the services. Users and Industry experts all over the globe are speculating some changes as WhatsApp continues to reassure its existing users. Here are some of the speculated changes that might be seen in the near feature.
Complicated Registrations to Increase the Database
Facebook is continuously fighting a war with Google and it is said that Facebook may have bought WhatsApp to increase its stagnant database. However, WhatsApp users until now have just been asked for their mobile numbers in order to get themselves registered. However, if Facebook wants to integrate the data of their social media platform with WhatsApp, it will need more details than just a phone number. In effect, it may take away the very essence of WhatsApp that is simple and easy to use.
How will Facebook Earn Revenue?
Having paid $42 to WhatsApp for every active user, Facebook may contemplate multiple ways of earning revenues from WhatsApp. WhatsApp until now is free for first year and then every user is charged $0.99/year subsequently. One of the concerns of users is that Facebook may increase the price of WhatsApp or make it paid service from the first year itself making the service more expensive than other IMs. Another concern amongst the users and experts is that Facebook may look at the option of earning from advertisements. One of the key advantages of this IM until now has been that it is free of any irritating advertisements.
Another key speculation doing the rounds these days is that Facebook may add its real time location feature to WhatsApp. Many users do not like the idea of disclosing their location all the time and hence this feature may be detrimental to WhatsApp.
Amidst these speculations, there might also be some good news for WhatsApp users. Facebook may bring voice calling and video calling feature for the users of WhatsApp. Only time can tell whether the changes brought by Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp will be beneficial or not for the existing users of the IM.