Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says WhatsApp is worth much more than the $19bn he paid for it last week. Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that WhatsApp, the free text messaging app he bought last week, is worth significantly more than the $19bn he paid for it. Zuckerberg thinks WhatsApp will help spread internet access to billions more people. The Facebook chief executive said on Monday that even as an independent company without the benefit of Facebook’s marketing clout, WhatsApp would be “quite a good bet” to be a major communications company. He said: “I could be wrong. It could be the one service that reaches 1bn users and doesn’t become valuable.”
Zuckerberg suggested SnapChat, another popular free smartphone app that was reportedly the target of a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook last year, was no longer a priority in the wake of the massive WhatsApp deal. Asked if he would make another approach, he said Facebook was “probably done for a while” in the acquisitions market. The 29-year-old founder was speaking in Barcelona to an audience of mobile industry executives, many of whom fear that WhatsApp and similar services that use the internet to offer free versions of traditional telecoms services, pose a serious threat to their businesses. Yet he urged them to give away access to some of the most popular online services customers in poor countries world to help drive growth.