Twitter Users Aghast About What Facebook Paid for WhatsApp

But the devil may be in the details

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Twitter users' reaction to Facebook agreeing to pay $16 billion for WhatsApp can be summed up in two words: What's that?

Compared to the $1 billion CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Co. paid for Instagram—which to an American mindset, is more popular—the total sum of $19 billion (which includes $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp's founders and employees) seems beyond the pale to many. But WhatsApp's user base of 450 million is triple that of Instagram and mostly overseas. And Mountain View, Calif.-based WhatsApp charges users a small fee in exchange for downloading it on a cell phone. So it is monetized, and it hasn't even tried to sell ads yet.

After today's announcement, Facebook held a call with Wall Street analysts explaining the multibillion-dollar price of WhatsApp. Analysts speculated that Facebook must not have been the only company vying for the messaging app, and bidding drove up the value. For its part, Facebook said that WhatsApp is growing—on course to hit the billion user mark and providing a service that encompasses the No. 1 mobile activity, messaging. 

But check out how the Twitterati reacted to the development:



@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.