Why Facebook Had To Have WhatsApp
“The most important thing to understand about WhatsApp is just how terrifying it is to a company like Facebook. It can compete with Facebook on its most valuable turf — users’ smartphones and text conversations — without exhibiting aggressive business ambition.”
Facebook will acquire WhatsApp for over $16 billion, according to the company. This is an objectively enormous amount of money, and far more than Facebook offered for Snapchat. But WhatsApp is — or was — arguably the largest known threat to Facebook. It was one of the only services that could plausibly claim to be cannibalizing Facebook on a large scale, and one of a small few that pose to it an existential threat.