whatsapp lead

@aslivicky #WhatsAppDown. Let’s hope Mark Zuckerberg is not making a lookback video about our #WhatsApp conversations.

@BazingaBugz Priscilla Chan blocks her husband from her #WhatsApp list.. So what does he do? He buys #WhatsApp for $19 billion and then blocks it

@ChrisSongzzz So Mark Zuckerberg 1) Bought #WhatsApp for $19bn Then 2) Tur(n)ed it off so people will use FB chat

@RachyyyBooo I feel very against using #whatsapp now #facebook has bought it. Especially now its crashed! Probably hacking out phones!

Some tweets really tickle your bone, some make you pity Facebook and WhatApp’s sheer bad luck, and some really make you wonder if Mark Zuckerberg had some sinister agenda in shutting its newly-acquired mobile messenger.

WhatsApp experienced its biggest global outage since its inception, yesterday for almost 210 minutes — merely three days after being acquired by social media giant Facebook. Jan Koum, Founder, WhatsApp issued a public apology on Sunday which said a network router was the reason behind the massive breakdown, said Reuters.

“We are sorry about the downtime,” wrote Koum, adding, “It has been our longest and biggest outage in years. It was caused by a network router fault which cascaded into our servers. We worked with our service provider on resolving the issue and making sure it will not happen again.”

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for US$ 19 billion. The latter made it clear that WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. Established nearly five years ago, WhatsApp now has 450 million users globally.

Apprehensions over Facebook trying to reform WhatsApp have been running through the media, and especially amongst users who fear that the no fuss mobile messenger will now die a slow death. As soon as WhatsApp announced restoring its services, rumours of Facebook declaring to shut WhatsApp daily for certain amount of time started circulating.

Amidst all the apprehension and sarcasm, e27 decided to seek industry opinion: 

Harshil Karia, Co-founder & Online Strategist, FoxyMoron

Harshil Karia, Co-founder and Online Strategist, FoxyMoron

According to Harshil Karia, Co-founder and Online Strategist, FoxyMoron, an India-based digital agency, no immediate change is expected for WhatsApp. “WhatsApp made a public statement that it will have ‘no ads, games and gimmicks’. Since, it doesn’t view advertising as a future revenue model, it will ideally want to build something based on subscription. Fundamentally, I don’t see this deal changing anything currently.”

“If WhatsApp becomes the dominant messaging medium in the near future, I see users being able to do everything via their messenger — from buying products to searching information. I feel WhatsApp will be more of a platform mindset shift vs. an augmentation to the way we currently do digital marketing.”

Sanjay Mehta, Co-founder and VP, Social Wavelength, an India-based social media agency, said that

Sanjay Mehta, Co-Founder & VP, Social Wavelength

Sanjay Mehta, Co-founder and VP, Social Wavelength

while he is disappointed as a committed WhatsApp user, he does not believe that the deal will impact the messenger’s services.

“Those of us who have increased dependence on WhatsApp were obviously upset that the essential service was not available. I know a number of SMBs who have included WhatsApp in their business as well. Such organisations definitely must have been impacted a lot.”

“Having said that, the incident has been like a learning for WhatsApp. There are a lot of outages these days, there is no connection between the acquisition and the outage. Facebook also acquired Instagram, but there was no chopping of services. WhatsApp will explore what it planned to; the deal will not change anything.”