Tring, tring! WhatsApp calling!

WhatsApp announced that it will have voice call service by the second quarter of 2014. Is it the acquisition effect?

Whatsapp

WhatsApp to chat; WhatsApp to transfer images; WhatsApp to exchange songs and now WhatsApp to make calls. Could it get any better?

At the Mobile World Congress, WhatsApp, CEO, Jan Koum announced the mobile messenger shall launch its voice call services by mid-year. The announcement comes on the heels of WhatsApp’s acquisition by Facebook for a stunning US$19 billion.

WhatsApp’s rival – Viber, WeChat and LINE all have voice call services making WhatsApp a late comer in this segment. However, with the help of this service, WhatsApp plans to take its user base from 450 million to one billion.

Post its acquisition, WhatsApp also changed its privacy options for its Android users. Users can now hide their ‘last seen’ and also their profile picture and status from selected friends.

WhatsApp has been under intense scrutiny ever since the acquisition. However, Koum made it clear at the conference that the deal will not impact WhatsApp’s independent identity.

Justifying the deal
Experts have been raising finger on the Facebook’s decision to pay US$19 billion for a mobile messaging app.

Defending the price pay at the Mobile World Conference, Zuckerberg said “I actually think that by itself it’s worth more than 19 billion,” Zuckerberg told the Mobile World Congress. “Even just independently, I think it’s a good bet.”

Read Also: The fuss over the WhatsApp outage!

According to a Reuters report, Zuckerberg was of the opinion that rival services such as South Korea’s KakaoTalk and Naver’s LINE are already “monetizing” at a rate of $2 to $3 in revenue per user per year, despite being in the early stages of growth. Media reports put WhatsApp’s revenue at about $20 million in 2013.

Facebook + WhatsApp = Invincible?
What will happen to WhatsApp? What will Facebook do with it? Is the deal really worth it? While the impact of the deal can be determined only with time, the duo definitely makes one of the strongest mobile forces.

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According to data by Informate Mobile Intelligence, WhatsApp has an individual reach of 82 per cent and Facebook app has an individual reach of 54 per cent. However, the combined reach of the two comes to 88 per cent.

Women talk, and there is no denying to the fact that they talk a lot. Infact now there numbers to substantiate the same. The report further points out that WhatsApp + Facebook have a higher combined reach in women (93 per cent) than in men (83 per cent).

In terms of age group, the combined force of the two have the highest reach in the 18-24 age group (93 per cent)
followed by 25-30 age group (with 91 per cent). The lowest combined reach is in the 36-40 age group with 80 per cent.

When it comes to OS, combined WhatsApp and Facebook seem to have conquered Android. The reach of the combined applications across Android is 92 per cent followed by BlackBerry with 85 per cent and Symbian 69 per cent.

Technology was built to save time, however it is not what it exactly does. Amongst Female SmartPhone users, the two
applications together contribute for nearly an hour of usage every day. Android users and those in the 18-24 yrs group also spend more than 40 mins per day interacting on WhatsApp or Facebook.

If the data is to be believed Facebook + WhatsApp could be one of the most iconic mergers of the time that could manage
to change the face of the global digital ecosystem. Nonetheless, one has no option but to wait and watch as the next chapter of the story unfolds.

Lead and Featured Image Courtesy: ShutterStock

A writer by heart, Saloni loves pouring words about anything and everything under this sky. Short stories and philosophy writing come to her naturally.

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