Even though Facebook's deal with WhatsApp is still fresh out the oven, it's impossible to deny the potential that this move has for its users, including marketers. Here's why:
- As Mark Zuckerberg said this week, "WhatsApp is the only widely used app that has more engagement and a higher percentage of people using it daily than Facebook itself."
- WhatsApp is also the fastest growing messaging app. It has 450 million active users and is adding about 1 million per day. In comparison, Facebook Messenger only stands at about 150 million active users. Joining forces seemed like a natural move.
- The deal will give Facebook better access to people in countries where, unlike WhatsApp, the social network is yet to have a strong presence (South Africa, Brasil, Australia...).
- According to many reports, teenagers have been moving away from Facebook in the past couple of years, and are getting hooked with instant messaging applications like Snapchat and LINE. The deal with WhatsApp will let Facebook get closer to younger demographics. It's good to remember that in 2013 Facebook tried acquiring SnapChat for USD $2 billion.
The move might not mean very much for marketers right now, but things will likely change within the next few months when Facebook's plans for the app are revealed. In any case, just knowing that they have secured themselves a solid presence in new markets must feel pretty great.