As Zuckerberg spent the majority of his time discussing Internet.org, and how the project will get the world on the Internet, he was asked questions about the WhatsApps deal of days earlier and its staggering $19 billion dollar price tag.
'WhatsApp is a great company and a great fit for us,' Zuckerberg said, calling the service the ‘most engaging' mobile application that has ever existed - and one that's well worth its price.’
Everyone has heard the numbers of 450 million WhatsApps customers at .99 cents annual fee and the forecast to go to one billion soon. It's because of that potential reach in consumer members, and not WhatsApp's current revenue stream, that Zuckerberg thinks WhatsApp is worth more than $19 billion.
He keeps his sight on the future and those one billion customers. Twitter with 241 million users is valued at just under $30 billion today closed off 1.47% at 54.96 and off its 52 week high of 74.73 today.
His long term plan is to focus on growing the base and not money income growth for at least five years.
Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp and CEO stated at the conference that there was no plan to add prices during the immediate years and he and Mark Zuckerberg has agreed upon a five year plan.
Koum introduced the voice option to the WhatsApp in his presentation at the conference. Koum and Brian Action co-founders have never accepted advertising but only the .99 cent annual fee.
On the surface, Facebook and WhatsApp appear to hold divergent views on a number of matters, but Zuckerberg said the companies share a common vision in making the world more connected.
Some 70 percent of world's population, or 5 billion people, are still without Internet access. And access, Zuckerberg said, is growing slower than many people in the Internet-connected world believe.
Zuckerberg announced Internet.org last summer and had calculated that the world’s wealthier members of the world’s population are already connected to the Internet. The challenge is connecting the rest of the world cost efficiently.
Koum and Zuckerberg have known each other for several years but were able to complete the deal within meetings and conversations over the last couple of weeks because both are committed to Internet.org.
'I think we are probably going to lose money on this for quite a while,' he said, though he added that over time there will likely be some benefit to Facebook. One billion customers and the world on the Internet is a powerful future for Facebook and Zuckerberg's vision.
Facebook closed today at 69.85, close to its 52 week high of 71.44 with a market cap of 178.1 billion.
To find more information about Facebook and WhatsApp see the list below in Author’s suggestions and the video atop this article that explains the addiction of WhatsApp and how it makes sense in cost efficiency.
I am on twitter at Victoria Wagner@Victoriaross888