WhatsApp? A Better question: WhatsUpp with Silicon Valley Again - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Jeff Michael

WhatsApp? A Better question: WhatsUpp with Silicon Valley Again

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WhatsApp? Better question is WhatsUpp with Silicon Valley again? Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $19 Billion. The agreement includes $4 billion in cash, $12 billion worth of Facebook shares, and WhatsApp's founders and staff will be eligible for another $3 billion in stock grants to be paid out if they remain employed by Facebook for four years.

If you don't have it on your smartphone, WhatsApp is a great app for texting people anywhere in the world (give or take) where there is internet wireless.

The company, which has 55 employees doesn't use advertising for revenue and doesn't charge for the service; two of the reasons it's so popular. But, $16 Billion? As the New York Times reports, when you add in the restricted stock options, that comes out to the equivalent of $344 million per employee! It's a text messaging app! I know Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have more money than they know what to do with but does this sound like Billionaire Monopoly to anyone else?

What Zuckerberg is doing, it seems, is buying up properties that threaten Facebook...even briefly threaten Facebook's popularity because what is a social networking site when its popularity begins to fade? (Ask MySpace. Heck, ask Norma Desmond!) The race and chase to stay relevant is a fast game. Facebook's revenue is just under $8 billion a year. If I'm a stockholder in FB (NASDAQ ticker), I might be getting a little nervous that my money is with a company that just paid twice its annual earnings for a nifty upstart with little visible sign of revenue.

Maybe Billionaire Monopoly isn't the game. Maybe it's Billionaire Poker. For now Facebook has enough chips to chase a questionable hand. How many new upstarts taking a seat at the table will Zuckerberg be able to spend his chips on?

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