Tech companies are quickly buying up messaging platforms. The latest news: Facebook is now the official owner of WhatsApp.
Official is the key word here. We first told you about the purchase back in February for an agreed price of $19 billion. WhatsApp is a messaging app. Users sign up using their phone numbers and can only chat with contacts they've programmed into their phones. You can voice chat, group chat and send photos over the app, as well. (Video via Pocketnow)
And since the acquisition, WhatsApp's price has already jumped to nearly $22 billion, The Verge notes, mostly due to the rise in Facebook's stock price. So ... what's Facebook going to do with it now? The online giant hasn't announced any official plans.
The Verge speculates it isn't going to touch it for a while, if at all.
"Facebook has pledged to operate its latest acquisitions, from Instagram to Oculus, largely independently — seeing as these companies were already doing so well on their own. For example, don't expect WhatsApp to abandon its $1 / year business model or add advertisements any time soon."
The European Union decided the merger between Facebook and WhatsApp wouldn't hurt competition since most people use more than one messaging app, Bloomberg reports.
Facebook joins the ranks of other companies buying up messaging apps. Last week, Yahoo acquired MessageMe for a rumored $30 million to $40 million — a purchase that Snapchat was reportedly also after. And Digital Trends says "IM competition" is getting "fiercer."
And to round out the messaging wars, Google is working on something secretive that might also involve some sort of instant messenger.