Facebook just paid $19 billion for an app that, if you’re an American, you've probably never heard of.
It’s called WhatsApp, a real-time instant-messaging application with 450 million monthly users worldwide. The app is popular because although the experience feels very much like sending a traditional text message, the messages are actually sent over mobile broadband lowering the cost of the service significantly.
In fact, this unique approach allows WhatsApp to charge its customers a single dollar per year after giving them their first year of use for free. A pretty awesome deal – especially if, like me, you have lots of friends overseas.
Popularity of the messaging service has been growing by leaps and bounds since launching in 2009. As its messaging volume approaches the entire global telecom SMS volume, the app is growing its user-base by 1 million new registered users a day – with 70% of these users active everyday.
OK, so all this sounds great, but Facebook said it is not looking to drive revenue from WhatsApp anytime soon (surprise!) and WhatsApp admittedly doesn’t sell ads, so what does all this mean for the future of marketing?
From WhatsApp’s homepage.
Furthermore, how can we leverage this new asset? Especially when, coming off the year of the selfie, only 13% of selfies are shared on WhatsApp?!
What’s your experience with WhatsApp? Share your thoughts on its impact to the social marketing mix below.
The birth of Jonas Brother Kevin's daughter wasn’t announced on the cover of People or OK!, but via Proctor and Gamble’s Dreft’s Twitter handle.
Breaking major news stories on Twitter before traditional outlets is nothing new. The phenomenon is just another indicator of Twitter’s prominence. Admittedly, the social behemoth impacts everything from the stock market to how we watch TV and what brands we buy.
What makes Dreft’s tweet so revolutionary is that they bypassed traditional outlets to deliver a huge piece of personal celebrity news straight to the consumer. Taking the place of a media outlet, they were able to connect with thousands of consumers in their targeted market with content relevant to their consumer and their brand.
“I think you're going to see more of these symbiotic relationships where you have the brand looking to gain exposure to the demographic that follows and has an affinity for [the celebrity],” said Ted Murphey, CEO and founder of Izea, a company that connects influential bloggers and celebrities to brands.
This is some definite food for thought as you continue building your brand’s social presence in 2014. What do you think will be the next branded news story? The end of Taylor Swift’s next relationship brought to you by Kleenex? Share your thoughts below.