Whats-App Hits two Billion Users but Monetization Remains ElusiveThe Motley Fool #Motley_FoolFebruary 14, 2020
Evan Niu, CFA
Feb 12, 2020 at 9:40AM
It’s now been over five years since Facebook ( NASDAQ:FB ) closed its massive $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, the social networking company’s biggest purchase to date.
This week, WhatsApp announced that it reached the monumental milestone of 2 billion users, compared to the 450 million monthly active users (MAUs) that the messaging service had at the time of the acquisition.
The service is Facebook’s second 2-billion-user platform, joining the flagship service that now has 2.5 billion MAUs.
But Facebook still hasn’t really figured out how to monetize WhatsApp.
“Our explicit strategy for the next several years is to focus on growing and connecting everyone in the world,” Zuckerberg said back in 2014 after announcing the acquisition.
“Once we get [WhatsApp] to being a service with 1 billion, 2 billion, 3 billion people, there are many clear ways that we can monetize.”
At the time, His Zuckness also said he didn’t “personally think ads are the right way to monetize messaging.”
Between ditching the subscription fee and backing off ads, it does not in fact seem like there are “many clear ways” to monetize WhatsApp, even after it has reached the scale where Zuckerberg said it would be easy.
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