On Thursday, February 20th 2014, the day begins with a Flash News: “WhatsApp a big–time sale!” spread like wildfire. The social networking giant Facebook to buy out WhatsApp for $16 billion in equity and cash, going upto a ball park figure of $19 billion.
On brief overview, Jan Koum and Brian Acton are the founder and co-founder of the WhatsApp Inc respectively. Koum was born on February 24, 1976 (age 37), Kiew in Ukraine. He is the only son of a housewife and a construction Manager. Koum moved with his mother to Mountain View, California in 1992, where they settled in a small two bedroom apartment with the help of a social support program. Koum’s mom worked as a Babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery. At age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernest & Young as a security tester, where he met Brian Acton. Koum was a part of group of hackers called W00W00. In 1997, Koum got job in Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer, where he worked with Acton for nine years.
In September 2007, Koum and Acton Left Yahoo and took a year off, then they travelled South America and played ultimate Frisbee. Both of them applied to Facebook for a job but they failed. By the year of January 2009, Koum bought an iphone and realized that the seven month old app store is about to spawn a whole new industry of apps. He visited his friend Alex Fishman and the two talked about hours, regarding the Koum’s idea for an application. Koum immediately chose the name WhatsApp, as this name sounds like ‘what’s up’. After a week later on February 24th 2009, they started a startup naming WhatsApp Inc. in California.
Origin of WhatsApp idea is that Koum wants to showcase the statuses next to the person’s name. Koum worked on the backend code and created his dream app. Initially it faced lot of problems, later or further improvement the visitors crossed 250000. The newer version WhatsApp 2.0 attracts the number of users. Even though other free messengers were in existence, WhatsApp is attractive due to the login through mobile phone numbers from any part of the world. Use of double check mark is an added advantage. Like free messenger, multimedia services and various features are added in this app. It shrinks the world by chatting, sharing photos, videos and many other
attractive features. WhatsApp is feasible for range of devices and platforms, including ios, Android, Blackberry, Windows, etc.
In early days sending a verification message had costed them heavily, so they went for a SMS broker like Click-A-Tell. They spent 2 cents in US and 65 cents to the middle-east countries. The verification SMS cost them around $500000 a month as per today. By the year 2013 the number of active users reached around 200 million and its staff to 50, thereby revenue to the concern started dramatically increasing. On February 20th 2014 the WhatsApp is acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, out of which $6.8 billion belongs to Koum.
The main reason behind the installation of WhatsApp is the number of usages. There as 320 million active users for WhatsApp everyday while facebook has 757 million daily users and 500 million tweets in a single day. Whatsapp enrolls 350 million active users, 27 billion messagaes in 1day and 400 million photos shared daily. From a layman point of view, it is a calculated risk Facebook has taken, however various technical analyst says that it is “bang for the buck”.
Original Source : Forbes.com