Facebook Bought Whatsapp: Why it matters...
You may've heard recently that Facebook entered a $16 billion deal to acquire Whatsapp.
For those of you that are unaware of Whatsapp it's a internet-based text service that is largely popular outside of the US (especially in Europe).
This purchase is a blatant strategic move on the part of Facebook, and is similar to the purchase of Instagram for a number of reasons. Much like how Instagram was not killed, or absorbed into Facebook the same is likely for Whatsapp. There will be small tweaks, and perhaps a change to make the platform more profitable (like Instagram ads). Also, both are attempts by Zuckerberg and Facebook to stay on top of competitors that have become successful, but here's where the strategy diverges some.
Instagram was never going to replace Facebook. They don't even occupy the same niches in our lives.
Whatsapp on the other hand offers virtually the exact same service as Facebook messenger does. The difference is that it's user-base is more European based.
Both moves are Facebook's way of keeping tabs on new trends in social media and technology, yet the Whatsapp purchase was to snuff the competition there, hence why the Instagram acquisition only cost $1 billion while the Whatsapp purchase cost $16 billion.
This also reflects the new Facebook strategy of building apps around them, much like Google has with Maps and many other apps.
TLDR; it matters because Facebook is buying their competition and learning from them as well as dominating the market by doing so.