February 19, 2014Published by: Drew Benvie

The $16bn address book: what Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp means for brands

News just out: Facebook has bought WhatsApp for $16bn. The whopping figure is one of the biggest in any sector in history, and shadows any similar acquisitions in the digital and social media world. In fact, WhatsApp has be bought for more than Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Viber and Yammer were sold for combined, as our chart shows.

WhatsApp bought by Facebook for $16bn - Battenhall

Facebook certainly wants to get current again. Recent reports have talked about its waning youth userbase. WhatsApp is certainly on the rise, and it also has the vote of confidence from the security-conscious.

So what will this mean for the WhatsApp community and for brands? As with everything Facebook works on at scale, advertising should be expected down the line. Currently WhatsApp makes money from small charges too, which we may see change. One thing's for certain, brands will be trying that bit harder to get to grips with using WhatsApp for some of its killer functions, namely:

  • Customer care
  • Feedback forums
  • Closed fan groups
  • Push messaging
  • Opt-in brand engagement channels

The ink is still drying on this deal, so we will update this article further when we know (and think) some more on it.

About Battenhall

We look after brand profiles on social media, and we're proudly the world's #1 at what we do. Named The Drum's social media agency of the year for the last three years running. Get in touch! hello@battenhall.com

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