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Facebook Businesses Communications News

Facebook To Buy WhatsApp 199

Facebook has announced an agreement to buy WhatsApp, the mobile messaging platform used by over 450 million people. The deal involves $4 billion in cash and an additional $12 billion in Facebook stock. They say WhatsApp will remain independent; its headquarters won't move, and it will continue to exist separately from Facebook's Messenger app. Mark Zuckerberg indicated they will focus on growth: 'Over the next few years, we're going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts for, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.' On WhatsApp's blog, they say, "Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing. WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently."
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Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

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  • Re:Messaging? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grantek ( 979387 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:29PM (#46291031)

    It's Jabber, but without the hassle of account creation. Username is automatically set up as your phone number, and password is your IMEI or something.

    So it's about as secure as SMS, but also as practical for technophobes. It's free of charge and allows much more data than SMS (file transfer of pics etc.), which is why people use it.

  • Re:Messaging? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mwissel ( 869864 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:32PM (#46291063) Homepage

    No, it's more than yet another SMS replacement.

    It can do cross-mobile-platform IM, group chats, file sharing (video and audio mostly) and as of recent push to talk communication. Also, the phone number is your user account - everyone of your phone contacts will show up in your WA contact list if they use it. Many agree it is the tidies and simplest messenger for mobile platforms around.

    On the downside there is their shitty data protection and blatant security faults in the past. On Android, you can't switch off presence and reading confirmations which is quite unfortunate if your boss or knows your phone number - they will always be able to check when you were last on.

    As much as I'd love to dispose WhatsApp, I have given up any attempt to do so. Once you registered, you can't unregister (or rather, the function does nothing) and people will continue to send you things. I resigned and tell everyone to not send any sensible information over this service and I use a modded Android app (WhatsApp+ ... you can find the project page on Google+) which allows me to hide my online status.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:18PM (#46291367)

    Thanks to biometric face reading techniques this is true. Any photo of you that is on there has enough biometric data for them to uniquely identify you and who you hang out with. And people can even tag your name to the photo if you don't have an account, so they get a name to match with the biometric data. Then they can know who your friends are and family. are, the places where you go and probably some other stuff. All this because someone took some photos of you and posted them.

  • Re:Messaging? (Score:3, Informative)

    by GumphMaster ( 772693 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @09:10PM (#46291711)

    After you remove the massive overlap between these claimed 450 million and FaceBook's claimed 1.3 billion or so accounts, and even wider database of identities, you can map the remaining 37 people ;)

  • Re:Why Care (Score:4, Informative)

    by daffmeister ( 602502 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:02PM (#46292303) Homepage

    We gave them feedback in October, and they ignored it.

    When the beta was re-revealed in January they hadn't even touched the biggest issue, that the comment system was fundamentally broken (not "it's got bugs" broken, but "the design is completely wrong" broken).

    Consequently there was lots of gnashing of teeth that they _still_ didn't understand that this was the core feature, and everyone that had been paying attention gave up on any hope that they would address it.

  • Re:Oh Good (Score:4, Informative)

    by alostpacket ( 1972110 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:15AM (#46292541) Homepage

    Was WhatsApp ever secure or open? Wasn't it just a proprietary wrapper for xmpp?

    There are other jabber/xmpp/jingle clients out there. I'm not sure what is the best client but pidgin works well for most things IIRC. Miranda IM may also be worth a look, or Adium. All three are a GPL or similar license I think. []

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zontar The Mindless ( 9002 ) < ... m ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @03:09AM (#46292983) Homepage

    It is not like IM was invented yesterday you know? Some of us have better things to do than figure out what's the irrelevant app of the day.

    I've never heard of it either and I'm not that old, maybe it's only popular in certain regions? One of those third world fads?

    I get the impression that it is popular in *cough* certain countries *cough* where the telcos freely rape their customers over text messages and mobile data.

    Where I live (Sweden), I get unlimited texting and nearly unlimited (5GB/mo) data for about 50 bucks a month. Since this is a very typical plan from a very typical Scandinavian carrier (Telenor), I am not surprised that I've neither seen nor heard of this app before.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen