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WhatsApp Founder Used Unchangable Airline Ticket To Pressure Facebook

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the they-knew-what-they-were-getting-into dept.

Businesses 144

McGruber writes "In a post on the Flyertalk website, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum provides another interesting detail about how he steered WhatsApp into a $16 billion deal with Facebook: 'we announced the deal with Facebook on wednesday after the market closed. during the process, we realized there was a chance we might not be able to get the deal wrapped up and signed on wednesday and it could delay. when the risk of the delay became real, i said: "if we don't get it done on wednesday, it probably wont get done. i have tickets on thursday to fly out to Barcelona which i bought with miles and they are not easily refundable or even possible to change. this has to be done by wednesday or else!!!"...and so one of the biggest deals in tech history had to be scheduled around my M&M award ticket."

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Refund. (5, Funny)

o_ferguson (836655) | about 8 months ago | (#46318555)

Hey should give all 450 million customers a $1 refund for the service outage that happened after the deal went through.

Re:Refund. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318605)

Thats a clever way to get users to tie billing info to their accounts and would add lots of value.

Re:Refund. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318727)

Right, 2 hours of downtime is clearly worth the same as a year's subscription.

It's amazing how people can keep such separate concepts of how much they think it's reasonable to pay, and how much it's reasonable to be paid in their heads at the same time.

Re:Refund. (-1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#46318833)

Hey should give all 450 million customers a $1 refund for the service outage that happened after the deal went through.

I'm not sure you realize what a "service outage" is. A power or water cut is an outage. Unresponsive Facebook or Whatsapp servers is a minor inconvenience at best, and might even be viewed as a life improvement event.

Re:Refund. (1)

o_ferguson (836655) | about 8 months ago | (#46319105)

Still the classy thing to do. Those 450 million customers are the reason he got his $19bn.

Re:Refund. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319315)

He sold it. It's not his problem any more. Facebook can refund or whatever.

Re:Refund. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320617)

He sold it. It's not his problem any more. Facebook can refund or whatever.

They can pay in miles.

Something doesn't add up (4, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 8 months ago | (#46318997)

Hey should give all 450 million customers a $1 refund.

They supposedly have 450 million users and charge $1 a year, but in 2013 they only had $20 Million in revenue. Either the 450 million users is an inflated meaningless number, or they have huge churn where only 4% of users stick around past the first year that's free.

Re: Something doesn't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319253)

Or they have gained 430 million users since the end of their fiscal 2013.

Re:Something doesn't add up (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46319767)

Ungodly Churn, almost nobody uses WhatsApp.

Re:Something doesn't add up (4, Informative)

Camael (1048726) | about 8 months ago | (#46320399)

Ungodly Churn, almost nobody uses WhatsApp.

Perhaps in your part of the world, but outside of the US, Whatsapp is big in some countries. As in used by practically everyone kind of big.

Re:Something doesn't add up (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320801)

it is freaking massive in Hong Kong... I don't know anyone who doesn't have it.

Re:Something doesn't add up (2)

xvan (2935999) | about 8 months ago | (#46319833)

AFAIK only iShiny users have to pay for the app, the android one is free but you need to pay their subscription fee.
Android users get a 1 year free subscription that can, under some circumstances, be extended also for free. If you pirate the iphone app, you also get the 1 year free subscription. If you don't pirate it, the subscription fee is included in the app price.
Also I think this free / non free renovation is decided upon IP geolocation.
You pay for the service, not the app. As your user id is your phone number, and other users find you by that id, after a year of use you are forced to pay. Otherwise you'd better use another service.

Re:Something doesn't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320823)

As far as I know none of my friends had to pay for it after the first free year.
I don't pay for it either but I'm on windows phone.

Re:Something doesn't add up (1)

xvan (2935999) | about 8 months ago | (#46320923)

On the login protocol there is a credential expiration date.
I do know of some users of alternative clients that couldn't log in after the expiration and had to pay.

Of course it's a ridiculous fee compared to what some telcos charge for SMS, but in places where international CC aren't ubiquitous, it's a real pain in the ass to make electronic payments (Yeah, outside US not only SMS aren't free, you may live without a CC).

So in whats app business model, you need to know if the person you are charging will be able to pay you even if he want's to.
Despite their promise, eventually facebook will make the service free an merge it with facebook. At least that's what MS did with skype.

Re:Something doesn't add up (4, Interesting)

Camael (1048726) | about 8 months ago | (#46320387)

Not all their users pay the $1 a year. Some of them get free renewals after their year is up, for instance.

Re:Something doesn't add up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321087)

actually, in 2012 they didn't have 450 million users. Their instantaneous growth rate as reported is about 1 million a day, so it is likely that most of their 450mil users were acquired in 2013. That's not unusual for exponential growth (as this would be due to the network effect that got those people on to begin with).

I am sure facebook examined the turnover rate. It is likely that their revenue in 2014 should be in the 100s mils. If that holds up, this would reflect a 10x increase in revenue year over year.... and that is clearly deserving of the purchase price.

$1 a year seems like a lot for US users because SMS is "free" with the plan, and other programs like googletalk, skype, etc. are popular here. In other countries (Asia and part of Europe), SMS is costly. This is reflected in the demographics of Whatsapp's users.

In fact, the idea is extremely good it's pretty much arbitrage condition! Provide a better service (than SMS) for much lower price. It's a no brainer.

Re:Something doesn't add up (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 8 months ago | (#46321287)

First year is free, and if you get a new phone or new phone number your year resets. A bunch of my friends and I have been using over for well, over a year. Anyone who got a new phone or phone number and it reset, in my case I had a phone that died after 14 days, but same phone number, and that reset the counter too.

So at any given time I could see them having less than half of their active users paying (which would be 200 million dollars a year ish) but if they have a factor of 10 growth in a year, which for a free app is not unreasonable at all, that would put the numbers where they are.

That doesn't justify the buyout price, but that's a whole other ballgamae.

Re:Refund. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320293)

This is the type of statement best never spoken if true. Although the guy seems to be as much of an ass as the founder of FB so they probably both got a chuckle.

his last miles award.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318567)

think he'll be flying to Barca on a private jet next time.. at at least a full fare F ticket.

How cute (2)

Buck Feta (3531099) | about 8 months ago | (#46318571)

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters. Timely news source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues.

Re:How cute (4, Informative)

mx_mx_mx (1625481) | about 8 months ago | (#46318677)

Go to http://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org] and just enjoy slashdot again.

Re:How cute (5, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | about 8 months ago | (#46319909)

I'll join the karma bonfire. Come on over to Soylent News [soylentnews.org] and enjoy actual news for nerds.

Really though? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318575)

It's hard to think that FaceBook would take this threat seriously. It's a $10+ Billion deal. Throwing in some extra first class seats for a different day would be the equivalent of a give-a-penny-take-a-penny dish compared to this.

Re:Really though? (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#46318751)

Perhaps he simply bullshitted them into thinking that he was dumb enough to actually do it?

Re:Really though? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46319213)

At least he can afford a new keyboard now. One with a shift key, maybe.

If only... (2)

Oyjord (810904) | about 8 months ago | (#46319329)

If I had mod points today, you, good sir or mam, would get them all!

Re:Really though? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319385)

ahem cough*jewish*cough
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Koum

Re:Really though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319407)

Brings to mind Inception's "Oh, I just bought the airline" scene.

Re:Really though? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46319569)

Yes, but facebook wasn't dealing with a huge corporation where the whims of one man were irrelevant. The whims of this man would make or break the deal. Just how quirky is he? Would he throw the whole deal out the window because he'd been inconvenienced? Maybe...

Re:Really though? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 8 months ago | (#46319829)

only a moron blows $10- 20 billion dollars over a couple of grand.

that is literally being a penny pincher but blowing ten thousand on hookers, and crack.

it doesn't make sense. if Facebook fell for it then they really are on the way out the door.

450 million users, however 400 million plus probably are already active on Facebook.

Facebook spent $16 billion on software, and 50 million users.

Re:Really though? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320317)

that is literally being a penny pincher but blowing ten thousand on hookers, and crack.

I don't think the word literally means what you think it means.

Re:Really though? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320715)

The use of "literally" to mean "figuratively" goes back to the 1700s. This usage has appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary since 1903. Get over it.

Re:Really though? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 8 months ago | (#46319919)

"Hey, hang out here and talk with us a bit, whether it works out or not we'll fly you to Barca in Zuck's private jet."

Really not a hard negotiation tactic.

Re:Really though? (3, Interesting)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 8 months ago | (#46319619)

It's hard to think that FaceBook would take this threat seriously. It's a $10+ Billion deal. Throwing in some extra first class seats for a different day would be the equivalent of a give-a-penny-take-a-penny dish compared to this.

Indeed. I expect that the deal happened in spite of, and not because of, this 'threat'. Sure, Facebook's team would have had an "Oh shit!" moment--but it would have been "Oh shit, we're dealing with an unprofessional nitwit" and not "Oh shit, he might walk away". Given that Koum has apparently decided it's a good idea to broadcast his unprofessional nitwittery, I imagine that Facebook's first move will be to keep him as far away as possible from anything dealing with 'business' as they possibly can.

Re:Really though? (2)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#46320761)

Let me re-phrase the threat.

"I don't have billions of dollars from you yet, so I can't just spend forever here, and I don't mind walking away. This plane ticket thing gives me an excuse to walk away, but if I let you buy me a ticket, I've given you a HUGE headwound with a cluebat that I'm desperate and will sell for way less than I'm asking. Signaling my intent to leave, and ask for more later, I'm taking a gamble that you will blink first."

Who blinked first? FaceBook, because if you study the financials of the companies involved, FaceBook did not have a choice. And WhatTheFuckSapp pretty much knew it. Not a guarantee, but considering the price range they agreed on, FaceBook was willing to shiv its own grandmother for the users.

Re:Really though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321149)

Indeed. I expect that the deal happened in spite of, and not because of, this 'threat'. Sure, Facebook's team would have had an "Oh shit!" moment--but it would have been "Oh shit, we're dealing with an unprofessional nitwit" and not "Oh shit, he might walk away". Given that Koum has apparently decided it's a good idea to broadcast his unprofessional nitwittery, I imagine that Facebook's first move will be to keep him as far away as possible from anything dealing with 'business' as they possibly can.

He should have thrown a chair. Microsoft would have made him their CEO.

Re:Really though? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46319871)

It's hard to think that FaceBook would take this threat seriously. It's a $10+ Billion deal. Throwing in some extra first class seats for a different day would be the equivalent of a give-a-penny-take-a-penny dish compared to this.

What actually happened was this person said "we've already agreed on the price, just hurry up and get the paperwork ready so I can sign it".

Re:Really though? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#46319977)

the threat wasn't about flying away to some random location but flying to barca to meet some other possible investors....

Re:Really though? (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 8 months ago | (#46320069)

I doubt this story is anything other than him bullshitting. I'm sure the ticket was real, but as you point out I'm also pretty sure that didn't matter to Facebook. Just another attention whore here, nothing to see.

Re:Really though? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 months ago | (#46320591)

Setting a deadline in a negotiation is not uncommon - usually it's even more arbitrary than this. Like, "this offer is good until 9am tomorrow, then I put it back on the market."

Re:Really though? (2)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 8 months ago | (#46320707)

He did not have a deal. Agreeing to take free tickets from the person across the negotiating table from you would take a deal. Not the same deal, but reaching some sort of deal.

Facebook: Here, have some free tickets so we can continue talking you into the gutter.
WhateverTheFuck: No, thanks, that just means you want to find new ways to undercut me. If you're not making a deal, I'm not sitting around.
FaceBook: No, really, if we're going to buy you for $10B we don't mind funding your later tickets
WhateverTheFuck: If you're not going to do a deal now, you're going to do either a shittier deal later, or no deal later. I'm flying and taking my 450 million u$er$ with me
FaceBook: Okay, no tickets. How about half off for a handy?
WhateverTheFuck: I took matters into my own hands earlier today, so I'm good until my plane takes off. Fuck yourself, and gimme billions.

Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 8 months ago | (#46318577)

This is Facebook we're talking about. They could have offered to charter a jet to take him where he needed to go if missing his flight was a possibility from long negotiations.

Yeah, Facebook caved over an airline ticket cost.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46318617)

It's not exactly caving when everyone in the room wanted the deal. Also, realize they were all probably tired of negotiating. Would you want to keep negotiating for weeks, or would you want to get it over with? Of course they all knew that the flight (bought with miles!) was cheaper than the smallest deal anyone was considering.

The real threat was that the deal wouldn't get done. The airline ticket was just a way to say that politely.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46318933)

The real threat was that the deal wouldn't get done

on time.

Ticket, no ticket, plans were made, and he said he was leaving, it could have not about the cost of the flight and more about sticking to former plans.

Kind of equivalent to a 2 bit lawyer threatening to storm out of the room - everybody knows it's theater, but it still gets people talking.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 8 months ago | (#46318983)

That deal was pure lunacy. There are a ton of competitors to Whatsup, all are free as well (I use Viber). Carriers won't just roll over and die either, next thing you know, they are bundling sms with voice and or data rather than selling seperately. There is more than one way for 'free sms over data' company to be outcompeted. The first year of whatsup is free. By the second year ppl will look at another free app. Again, it is trivial to have billions of users if you give away the house for free. A retailer offering free products would attract everybody. It is just much harder to give away something you have to buy first, FB will learn that now. To Zuckerberg billions are like funny money, but he never sold a product to users, to advertisers - yes. To users? No. He made all of his money on the IPO, not on any sales. For this deal to make money, value of shares must rise by more than the billions spent on the purchase, 4 of which was in cash and the rest in stock. But if somebody tries to unload that much stock, the prices will go down, not up. Anyway, probably most of whatsup users are FB users already. I think it was a stupid deal, just what I said about buying bitcoins for the people who were buying in the last year. There is no value and what value there is will evaporate.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319641)

Stupid deals like this is what really proves that capitalism is bullshit. How is it moral for someone to make billions of dollars off a messaging service. We need socialism now!

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46319819)

How is it moral for someone to make billions of dollars off a messaging service.

How is it moral to prevent them from making billions of dollars off a messaging service? Any moral system you design is ultimately arbitrary.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319903)

I'm 95% certain that AC is trying to troll roman_mir.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (1)

drolli (522659) | about 8 months ago | (#46318707)

Yea they could have even dropped in a small learjet in the price (Just keep it...)

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 8 months ago | (#46318873)

Sure, although it points a broader point about his willingness to engage in prolonged negotiations (for whatever reason) and willingness to drop the deal. It's kind of like trying to negotiate with North Korea -- the stated reasons they do anything are equally ridiculous, but you have to go along with it if you're actually looking to finalize those negotiations.

Re:Oh my god, what a stupid idea. (1)

blackicye (760472) | about 8 months ago | (#46319277)

This is Facebook we're talking about. They could have offered to charter a jet to take him where he needed to go if missing his flight was a possibility from long negotiations.

Yeah, Facebook caved over an airline ticket cost.

Yeah, that and it wasn't as though there were other parties lining up to throw $19B at him. Facebook could probably have "lowballed" him at $15B and still closed the sale.

$16B buys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318587)

1,000,000 round trips to Barcelona. I smell bullshit.

Re:$16B buys (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#46318729)

You probably smell tapas too after the 50th trip.

Re:$16B buys (2)

demonlapin (527802) | about 8 months ago | (#46319925)

A million fully refundable first-class round trips to Barcelona.

Is this an ad for Capital One? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#46318653)

Whats in Your Wallet

BS (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 8 months ago | (#46318659)

The word BULLSHIT jumps to mind. If facebook felt the need for more time they would have happily bought him a replacement first class ticket to anywhere he wanted to go, especially when it is billions of dollars on the line.

Re:BS (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 8 months ago | (#46318779)

The word BULLSHIT jumps to mind whenever Facebook is mentioned.

Re: BS (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 8 months ago | (#46318795)

Actually, I don't know if they could.

If Facebook had bought him a ticket, that could have been considered a bribe, and the regulatory agencies would have had all sorts of fun with that.

Re: BS (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 8 months ago | (#46318987)

replacing a ticket due to their own delays in negotiations would not be considered a bribe, I have had to do that with clients before and it is considered perfectly acceptable by government and regulatory authorities. Hell they could have paid for everything in the trip, As I understand it whatsapp was not a publically listed company and therefore not subject to strict regulatory conditions that many other companies are.

Re: BS (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#46319597)

A "bribe"? WhatsApp is a private company, they can take money from whoever they want for whatever purpose they want.

Re: BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320199)

True, WhatsApp can, but if they have any investors then there's going to be some long and hard questions from them about the accepted bribe.

Re:BS (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 8 months ago | (#46318917)

It's really all about subtext. It's a statement - "This deal gets done by Wednesday or I walk away from it". By buying a ticket he's showing clear pigheadedness, and giving an absolute deadline.

Facebook want the deal as well, so they can use this to pressure their ditherers

Re:BS (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46318937)

The word BULLSHIT

is another way of saying "negotiations."

Ok (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 8 months ago | (#46318667)

and so one of the biggest deals in tech history had to be scheduled around my M&M award ticket

There are no grown-ups running businesses in this country.

We Better Get This Deal Done ASAP... (4, Funny)

raftpeople (844215) | about 8 months ago | (#46318681)

or my 16oz latte is going to get cold and I will need to buy another one.

Re:We Better Get This Deal Done ASAP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320377)

Or rather, "In ten minutes my coffee will be drinkable. Talk fast."

Well... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 8 months ago | (#46318699)

Now he has the money to fly to Barcelona and back every day for the rest of his natural life, so that worked out great.

Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46318761)

Why is this a story? Obviously nobody was pressured by the cost of an airline ticket. So that's bullshit, and that's the entire story. Are you trying to get the content down to the quality of the Beta site?

hip! (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 8 months ago | (#46318885)

i hope we do not overlook koum's total hipster prowess evidenced by the lack of proper capitalization. too cool for me!

Chump change (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 8 months ago | (#46318915)

This kind of ultimatum sounds like standard chest-thumping. Yeah, sure, you're going to walk away from a 16-billion-dollar deal for the sake of an airline ticket. Pull the other one.

Lufthansa (1)

linuxci (3530) | about 8 months ago | (#46318969)

Reading posts like this remind me why I'm glad I collect miles (aka Avios) with British Airways rather than Lufthansa (M&M = Lufthansa Miles and More). As a BA Gold I can change my miles bookings free of charge up until 24 hours before my flight.

I'm currently in Prague at the moment, decided I want to get a later flight back tomorrow so logged in and switched my booking.

There's a reason why those who are not fans of Lufthansa call their scheme Miles and Less. It's one of the least generous schemes out there.

Not only was this deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319089)

A piss take, so is this story.

Cute story but he's a sell-out (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 8 months ago | (#46319093)

They railed against advertising and even Facebook yet he found $16B too rich to resist. Of course I can't blame him; $16B is an insane amount of money, and he'll get a big chunk of it. But the bottom line is he sold out his principles for wealth.

Facebook was dumb. (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46319111)

The non refundable tickets story looks phony. Facebook could afford to fly the founder on a private jet if needed. No matter whether this story is false or true, Facebook paid foolishly high sum for Whatsapp.

The main draw of Whatsapp is that it allows penny pinchers to save on texting fees. In the countries dominated by WhatsApp all incoming calls and texts are free by law. People only pay for outgoing texts. If you have WhatsApp account, from a dumb phone you can send an SMS paying for just one outgoing local text fee. If you have smart phone, it would come under your data plan. That SMS could be echoed to many people as incoming texts by WhatsApp, across countries if necessary. Thus you avoid international texting charges too. These users are tightwads and penny-pinchers extraordinaire. They are the ones who developed elaborate missed-call etiquette and protocols to avoid paying air-time charges. They would sign up, use the first year for free, and create a new account under a new user name and get one more year free. WhatsApp knew it and it did not care, it is able to count old users as new users and show phenomenal user base growth. You can not make any money off these users. They will dump WhatsApp the moment it tries to charge any fees. There is no compelling reason to use WhatsApp and the switching costs are minimal. It is not like Facebook where all your friends are and you have to be in Facebook to see it.

In a developed market with smartphones, where dumb phone market is shrinking, there is no way FB can make any money off WhatsApp. And it has spent 35% of cash on hand in this acquisition. Media is making a big deal of 19 billion dollar figure. But much of it is from overvalued FB stock so that is not relevant. What is important is, in the coming year it is going to be cash strapped. It is having huge buyers remorse. It is going to more circumspect in the next acquisition target. It will swing in the other direction and let a good deal slip in the coming year. That is the effect of WhatsApp on FaceBook.

Re:Facebook was dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320045)

>. They would sign up, use the first year for free, and create a new account under a new user name and get one more year free.
That would require a new phone number, yes?

Re:Facebook was dumb. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46320347)

WhatsApp does not enforce it strictly. They know what is going on, still they let it slide.

Re:Facebook was dumb. (3, Informative)

Espectr0 (577637) | about 8 months ago | (#46320197)

You are mostly right, i live in Venezuela, here we only get charged for data/outgoing sms/outgoing calls. Incoming sms and calls are free, as they should. Of course, our cell plans suck, for example i only get 60 minutes a month, 300 sms and 250 MB of data.

You are wrong about whatsapp not caring for new accounts, it is widely known whatsapp 450M users have about 70% of daily use.

Here a trick for whatsapp users: don't want to pay anually? Have android? Borrow an iphone, put your simcard, buy whatsapp for 1$, put your simcard back into your android phone. Boom, you get lifetime service for 1$.

Whatsapp is good enough, its strenght isn't security or privacy, but rather its comfort. You don't need to add anyone, no pins, usernames, passwords or logging in. If you want security then use BBM.

Re:Facebook was dumb. (2)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 8 months ago | (#46320269)

70% of people get automatically logged in by their phone each day, maybe. I've been trying to delete WhatsApp, but the uninstaller just doesn't seem to work. Seems like a pretty good way to claim 70% are online if you're actually saying 70% of phones are switched on. Unless they actually have message counts from these 315 million people daily users... and they all high-five each day when people just love typin' on their pioneering piece of chat window... but that would be weird, if they knew I was a 'heavy user' and that it was a chronic problem... I mean what..........

User friendly (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 8 months ago | (#46320435)

Whatsapp is good enough, its strenght isn't security or privacy, but rather its comfort. You don't need to add anyone, no pins, usernames, passwords or logging in.

Very true. It stores your phone number and contact details in the cloud, which is very useful when you change phones. Just install the app on your new phone and boom! All your contacts are there.

Re:Facebook was dumb. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320397)

pennypinchers? Nice ad hominem, dickwad. WhatsApp excels because it allows SMS+ features over a data plan, like video or audio, that doesn't work so well over SMS.

Re:Facebook was dumb. (2)

GauteL (29207) | about 8 months ago | (#46321515)

Whatsapp is useful if you have moved country and would like to keep receiving texts from your old friends without putting them out. It is one of those cases where politeness dictates that you can't expect people to keep texting you, even though you would have no issue paying the £10 it would cost per month to send 50 text messages.

That said, catering for us is not an 'insanely hot' business idea and a lot may well be swayed to move to Google Hangouts or Skype quite easily.

WTF (1)

Psychotria (953670) | about 8 months ago | (#46319219)

I know that editor's at slashdot have a reputation for not editing summaries, but this has got to be the worst example of a summary I've ever seen. Perhaps Timothy's shift key is broken, or is it now acceptable to start sentences with a lowercase letter? Proper nouns seem to have escaped the need for an uppercase letter as well. I normally just ignore typos in the summaries, but this is beyond belief.

Editors, they don't have no stinkin editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319275)

Anyone who believes this summary is worth following or that there is any meaningul contribution performed by these so-called editors belongs on Slashdot.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320107)

The summary contains a quote from the founder of WhatsApp on a forum, which he typed exactly like this.

Not credible (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 8 months ago | (#46319245)

You'd dump a deal worth billions over a few hundred bucks - man if I where on the other side I woudl see that as a sign of weakness just pony up the cost of a ticket to Spain and put it on the table - "right shall we continue or are you not serious"

Founder and former employee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319325)

We now have the name of the first exec to be leaving in the restructuring following acquisition. And if he thinks he'll sell another startup after bragging and attempting to make the purchaser of whatsapp look foolish....

Is Bullshit.. (1)

jmd (14060) | about 8 months ago | (#46319457)

spelled with 1 *L* or 2?

Who really cares about theatrics?

GA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46319561)

GA - Gloating Asshole.

implausible (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#46319583)

Hah! You think we believe that? Getting M&M to issue a ticket to Barcelona is a lot harder than closing a $16b deal with Facebook!

Riiiight.... (2)

Goody (23843) | about 8 months ago | (#46319757)

I'm sure a $2K flight ticket really influenced everyone involved this deal when there was $16B at stake.

Psycho or Crazy Like a Fox? (2)

mattr (78516) | about 8 months ago | (#46319901)

A psychopath brags.
Either that, or the facebook guys asked him to say it.

slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320021)

what a load of crap. 16b deal hinged on a plane ticket? if so our economy might as well be run by monkeys.

and no, i didn't rtfa, you've got to be kidding.

what happened to slashdot? the amount of posts that are utter turds is getting insane.

fuck.

it's like losing an old friend.

Re:slashdot (1)

mbone (558574) | about 8 months ago | (#46320965)

Actually, from the evidence, I think our economy is run by monkeys. It would explain a lot.

Fuck Facebook.. (2)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about 8 months ago | (#46320155)

...and this stupid fucking social media bubble. Can it please pop, already?

Zuckerberg has no clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320573)

Zuckerberg could have purchased American Airlines AND Dunkin Donuts for that 19 billion. What an idiot.

the secret behind deals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46320731)

it's not a big secret, at least if you're in the restaurant business. if the business deal isn't closing by wednesday, the deal has no shot to be completed. that's why most restaurants have THE BEST of everything (staff, cooks, linens, utensils, ingredients) on wednesday. there is no such thing as a bad meal on a wednesday. usually if something bad happens, it's probably you were a dick or they don't want you coming back. otherwise, they know the big wigs will be out celebrating, and LARGE. and when these folks celebrate large, orders get large, and the tips will be large.

For $16B .... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46320955)

... we'll have our lawyers hand carry the contracts to Barcelona.

Or Antarctica, if that's where you'll be.

This is not bulshit (1)

giorgist (1208992) | about 8 months ago | (#46321111)

In negotiations there is a point where you need to behave irrationally otherwise negotiations continue to your detriment. That was a means to signal that it is your final offer, and I am willing to drop it for something as ridiculous as a flight to Barcelona. They could have offered a flight in a gold plated A380, it would not have made a difference. Next time you negotiate with your wife over going out with your buddies, you might recognise the "irrational behaviour" trick now.

That guy is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46321425)

He was willing to risk losing out on $19 billion because of a plane ticket that cost a few thousand dollars at most? What a total idiot.

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