Facebook drew huge attention recently because it paid $19 billion for a messaging company called WhatsApp. Interestingly, many a people had never even heard of WhatsApp, nor do they understand why a messaging app is worth so much money. Soon after Facebook declared that it had acquired the widely used chat app, the messaging company stated that it would add voice calling services to its app in the second quarter of 2014.
The declaration that voice calling would be added to the application is building a warning to the voice profits that have made mobile companies one of the most profitable businesses, worldwide. Different messaging facilities have even now done grave loss to mobile companies’ MMS and SMS incomes, and now the similar might occur to voice incomes if there is a growth of mobile messaging voice calls.
What Facebook-WhatsApp might do
There is nothing new in voice calling using mobile messaging facilities. Skype, Viber, WeChat, Tango and a lot have been providing voice calls for years but no one ever had so much attention. The purchase was the biggest web acquisition in more than a decade. The most popular social media’s shares reached a record after it disclosed the $19 billion deal for WhatsApp Inc. It is worth remembering that every Internet takeover of more than $10 billion has failed. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, though, said that WhatsApp is worth even more than the $19 billion he’s spending, is betting this time would be different.
Facebook-WhatsApp may own your phone
Facebook accounts and mobile messaging contacts have become the preferred ID for many mobile users to contact their friends. This is removing mobile numbers as the default ID. Facebook-WhatsApp, providing services combinedly, can offer phone users almost all of the facilities they look for: messaging, voice and social media. And in time, Facebook-WhatsApp may turn into a users’ home screen. When a user wishes to call a mobile number directly, they could make this with a VoIP calling that is not charged by the phone company. All here is required for any Facebook and WhatsApp system to work efficiently is a high quality data network.
Can the mobile companies survive?
Mobile messaging is decreasing SMS incomes after many smartphones substituted their SMS communication with messaging services. The last hope for mobile operators is their major income stream–voice. The mobile messaging operators are now targeting this service too that can lead to financial difficulties for mobile companies in the later years.
There is a pretty good chance that any smartphone will be able to evidently connect with any other smartphone through Facebook and WhatsApp services.
As data revenue is growing, mobile companies remain to trust on their voice incomes to run and fund network expansion and upgrades. If there is an astonishing increase in mobile messaging voice calls, which start to influence conventional voice incomes, the mobile companies might be forced to act.
Where the future takes
At this point, many mobile companies expect that the WhatsApp’s association with Facebook and the coming up WhatsApp voice facility will not bring about a major change in user behaviors. The mobile companies may believe that they have experienced these disruptive VoIP technologies earlier, and that WhatsApp’s voice calling will not be more fruitful than similar services from Skype, Viber and others.
The bridge of Facebook and WhatsApp, however, might mean that a critical mass of users is reached, with the last barriers of performance and cost removed by the mobile operators themselves, making mobile messaging voice calling a possible alternative to conventional voice facilities.
By Rahad Abir