Now the European Union recently announced a rule in the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to require messaging app developers to enable their apps to interoperate – that is, to make them work together. For example, if I’m a WhatsApp user, my message might be received by an iMessage user, if that user does not use WhatsApp. Additionally, if I’m an Android user with RCS, my message could be received by a Telegram user or even an iMessage user. There could be endless combinations.
These are historic and extraordinary times that we are living through – all over the world, due to the corona virus (or COVID-19) pandemic. Many entire countries, cities, counties, and regions are completely shut down except for essential services in order to ensure social distancing and to limit the spread of the virus.
One thing that we constantly see is that businesses are clamoring to include mobile messaging as part of their consumer outreach. As has been stated many times, many places, an SMS message is typically read within the first few minutes of receipt, by over 90% of the recipients. That includes Person-to-Person (or P2P) as well as Application-to-Person (or A2P). To reach consumers and encourage them to engage, businesses are increasingly turning to mobile messaging as their primary channel.
Since the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, just prior to the 2014 Mobile World Congress, there has been considerable press about Facebook and WhatsApp. In the last few days, the latest headlines have been about how WhatsApp handled a record 64 billion messages in a 24 hour period. That is a fantastic number and it represents magnificent growth. I’m not trying to take away from this brilliant achievement, but I must point out that WhatsApp subscribers didn’t really generate 64 billion messages.
In the late afternoon on Wednesday, February 19th (Eastern Time, USA), Facebook announced that it was acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash, stock, and restricted stock. While I’m not a financier, I think $19 billion was a bit much as I’ve read that it roughly translates to $42 or so per WhatsApp subscriber. I think it was a good move, nonetheless.