09 Oct WhatsApp officially sold for $22 Billion, thanks in part to Hispanics
WhatsApp has swiftly taken over the world of mobile messaging. In February, Facebook announced plans to purchase WhatsApp for a whopping $19 Billion dollars. At the time, the app had over 350 million active users, yet many people balked at the price tag. The sale was made official on Monday, and the final price came in closer to $22 Billion. Having ballooned to more than 600 million monthly active users, WhatsApp has seen unprecedented growth, and much of it can be attributed to its massive Hispanic user-base. In the United States, 45% of all adults who use WhatsApp are Hispanic, while in Latin America the app has become ubiquitous, and is installed on over 90% of all iPhones.
It’s common practice for wireless carriers in the U.S. to bundle unlimited texting with voice and data plans. However, in many other countries, including those in Latin America where pre-paid cellphone service is more popular, mobile users are often charged to send and receive individual messages. WhatsApp allows users to evade these fees by sending all messages, including picture, audio, and video via data or Wi-Fi connection. It’s not hard to see how WhatsApp became so popular internationally, especially when their service is free for the first year, and then just $1 (roughly 8.5 Argentine pesos) per year after that.
Also, WhatsApp not only works across platforms, but it works across national borders, allowing people from all over the world to communicate without worry of outrageous fees. This feature is especially popular with Hispanics living in the U.S., who communicate with friends and family who live outside of the country, and vice-versa. As a multicultural agency with a culturally diverse staff, we use WhatsApp to communicate with loved ones around the world.
WhatsApp has essentially done for mobile messaging what Skype has done for international calling; it has given users a quick, easy, and low-cost way to communicate, and Hispanics have been at the fore of WhatsApp’s adoption. It’ll be interesting to see how the app, and its users evolve now that Mark Zuckerberg and co. will be at the helm.