Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Bought WhatsApp After Seeing Its Growth Through Onavo VPN

Charlie Warzel and Ryan Mac, Buzzfeed:

In February 2014, Facebook purchased the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. The acquisition price was staggering for an app that made little money and was largely popular outside the United States.

Now, newly published confidential Facebook emails and charts show exactly why CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a small fortune for the messaging app. For months, the company had been tracking WhatsApp obsessively using Onavo, a VPN and data analytics app, whose data showed that the messaging app was not just a rising competitor, but a potential Facebook killer.

The overall unrestricted growth of Facebook — and, in particular, its purchases of Onavo, WhatsApp, and Instagram — should be regarded as one of the greatest failures to apply antitrust regulations in decades.