Recently Facebook bought Whatsapp for a whopping $19bn US Dollars. What does Facebook want with parties such as Whatsapp and Instragram?
Social networks come and go. Some grow to be very large, but also disappear rather quickly. Myspace was one of the better known social platforms a few years back and a reboot of the platform couldn’t save it. Google did many attempts to conquer the social media hype on the internet, indirectly linking users to their products. That didn’t really work out it with Google Buzz and Google tries again with Google+, which has also sparked a decent amount of criticism on YouTube.
Facebook tries to secure themselves for the long run by taking over big players in social networking, in particular Whatsapp. A massively popular messaging service with hundreds of millions of people in their user base. But why did Facebook want Whatsapp?
One reason is the fact that teenagers are steadily leaving Facebook, because their parents are joining in. And you don’t want your parents to be able to monitor you all the time. Teens haven’t left Facebook yet, only the times they login has decreased, hinting that an important user base’s interest in Facebook is decreasing.
Teens belong to the early adaptors, meaning they are open minded to try out new networks. They will most likely be the biggest group in the beginning stages of a network. The moment they leave, it can reveal signs that other user groups might follow.
And here’s where Facebook has played its trump card. While Facebook is becoming less popular and teens are moving towards Whatsapp , they remain in Facebook’s network. They leave the network, but remain in the circle of social networking.
Whatsapp shows a trend where social is becoming less public, not everybody has to know what you’re doing. Whatsapp has another stronghold, namely that it is mobile. Mobile and connectivity are becoming more and more important in our daily lives. Whatsapp meets these wishes and therefore has a steady hand in remaining an important social interaction tool.