Facebook’s $3 billion offer to buy Snapchat late last year looks like pennies in the wake of last night’s huge acquisition news. $19 billion is the latest amount the social giant has offered to acquire fast-growing mobile messaging startup WhatsApp. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the idea for this deal came about just 11 days ago, and it was made reality late yesterday afternoon. In response to the news, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Nate Elliott notes:
“Facebook works harder than any other social site to keep people coming back. In the past year, it has focused much of that effort on mobile — introducing Home and Paper as well as upgrading both its Facebook and Messenger apps — and this is another step toward keeping people engaged no matter where they are.
It’ll be tempting to read this as a sign that Facebook is scared of losing teens. And yes, the company does have to work hard to keep young users engaged. But the reality is, Facebook always works hard to keep all its users engaged, no matter their age. Facebook is tireless in its efforts to keep users coming back. That’s why its 1.2 billion monthly users keep visiting the site more and more frequently, rather than drifting away.”