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Tip of the Hat: WhatsApp users are the big losers in Facebook deal

While WhatsApp and Facebook will get some significant benefits from the $19 billion deal, it's unclear what happens to users of the messaging app

By Mike Bucken
February 21, 2014 11:48 AM ET

Computerworld - There are plenty of winners in the biggest deal ever for a venture-backed startup -- Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp.

Tip of the hat

Facebook gets access to some 450 million mostly young monthly users of the popular messaging app for that huge price, but one that's quite affordable for the social networking firm. It gains a strong place in a growing market and eliminates a potential long-term competitor.

WhatsApp's founders, venture capital investors and 55 or so employees, meanwhile, stand to see some significant monetary rewards. And Facebook has set aside billions in stock to make sure the most talented WhatsApp workers stick around.

Computerworld, though, offers a Tip of the Hat to ReadWrite's Selena Larson for pointing out the likely big losers from the deal -- WhatsApp's users. In her story, Why Facebook's WhatsApp Deal is Bad for Users, Larson notes that while Facebook and WhatsApp officials say the deal won't change either site, it is likely that the latter's no advertising pledge will be changed at some point.

Most important, she says, Facebook now has access to personal information on WhatsApp users. It's not clear yet how that information will be used, but Larson offers some ideas on that.

Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.



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