If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. This seems to be the modus operandi of Zuckerberg and his cohorts, and it’s a formula that continues to prove lucrative for Facebook.
It was announced last week that Facebook had acquired the international messaging application WhatsApp for a colossal $19 billion, continuing the company’s purchasing pattern that has included Instagram and the short-lived social media outlet, Friendster – among numerous others.
By acquiring WhatsApp, the brain trust at Facebook added another profitable tech weapon in their ever-expanding arsenal, and provided their shareholders with further confidence in their commitment to corporate growth in areas not fundamentally central to their social media platform. They also subsequently announced a new international voice-calling functionality for WhatsApp, putting it in direct competition with other such services as Skype.
With their continued spending spree that involves buying out potential competition or acquiring intellectual property for their own use, it’s entirely conceivable that Facebook may soon have their fingerprints on a variety of different businesses, and create an even larger-looming corporate shadow.
I believe that many years from now, Mark Zuckerberg’s company will be viewed as one of the heritage American businesses, along with General Motors, IBM or Apple; a company that trumpeted the arrival of the Social Media Age and redefined our understanding of interpersonal communication and interaction. Their acquisition of WhatsApp only reinforces their dedication to altering the communication landscape, and bolstering their dominion over the technological world.