Is WhatsApp going to kill the mobile SMS industry as we know it?

Facebook is buying the fast-growing mobile messaging service WhatsApp for a jaw-dropping US$19bn in cash. The deal bolsters the social network giant by adding the 450 million users of WhatsApp, which will be operated independently with its own board. It is Facebook’s biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after Mark Zuckerberg’s firm went public, raising $16bn. The IPO netted Ireland’s Bono, an early investor, a neat US$940 million. “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app that allows users to exchange messages without having to pay any charges. It has been growing at an astronomical rate over the last year or so, and it’s no surprise that mobile carriers are getting a bit worried about their future. WhatsApp now has recently rolled out a voice messaging service to add to its already extensive feature list. The app, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is an alternative to text messaging and  is responsible for sending 11bn messages and the receipt of 20bn messages a day, a total traffic of 31bn messages a day. The… Read more »

Facebook adds new Shared Album feature

Facebook have recently announced their new shared photo albums feature. This will allow an album creator to share access to as many as 50 “contributors”, who can then  upload photos to the album, up to a limit of 200 photos per user. Album creators can choose a setting that allows contributors to invite others to the album, or retain total control over album invitations. Previously, users could only upload images to their own self-created albums with a limit of 1,000 photos per album. The new feature was built in one of the company’s “hackathon” sessions, when employees set  regular work aside and start dreaming up new features for the social network. One thing for sure: there may be a lot more unwanted pictures of you uploaded from that party you wish your boss didn’t know about, all conveniently stored in one album! Yikes!

What’s happening in the mobile world?

It’s no secret that a large proportion of  technology growth is now in the mobile industry. Mobile internet traffic itself has grown from one per cent in 2009 to 15 per cent in 2013. This basically means that the world is now increasingly choosing to surf the web, not with a laptop or desktop, but via their smartphones or tablets, or both.  This trend is most certainly very likely to continue. Here’s a few interesting stats as to what’s ahead for the mobile world 1. By 2016, US mobile users will increase from 174 million to 265 million. (IDC, Worldwide New Media Market Model, 2012) 2. By 2016, US users accessing the Internet through PCs will shrink from 240 million consumers to 225 million. (IDC, Worldwide New Media Market Model, 2012) 3. Smartphone use in the US is growing 28 per cent year-over-year. (KPCB Internet Trends 2013) 4. Mobile users check their phone on average 150 times a day. (KPCB Internet Trends 2013) 5. Mobile app users are four times more engaged than those surfing the web through a browser. (comScore Mobile Metrix, March 2012) 6. By 2015, mobile app development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC projects… Read more »