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Will Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp change anything?

We surveyed our panel of UK consumers after news hit that Facebook were to purchase WhatsApp for a massive $19bn – Facebook’s largest acquisition to date. Initially the news induced fear into a number of our panel, who were surprised the app is to be acquired by Facebook and concerned of the changes that might occur. Steven from Ramsgate said he was “not sure how WhatsApp is valued at $19bn”, which seemed to be some of our panel’s initial trending thoughts.

 

Although a number of the panel were slightly negative towards the acquisition, there was a general feeling that Facebook hadn’t ruined Instagram with ‘Facebookisation’ since acquiring that app, so it may not mean bad news for WhatsApp users.

WhatsApp was described as an “incredibly popular app”, that it was not commercialised, and almost seemed as though it was an integrated part to any phone as opposed to an app, as it’s not clustered with bolt ons. A number were worried that WhatsApp might be updated with a more prominent emphasis on integration between WhatsApp and Facebook. Others felt that Facebook simply bought the app to gain access to the 450 million users of the service a month, and they would be looking to monetise the users through adverts. Interestingly it seemed the older members of the panel that used WhatsApp seemed to be more concerned with potential future changes.

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