If you ask me both the acquisition are good in the respective domains of their parent companies.
Facebook acquired Whatsapp for $19B in 2014 when the number of users were 450 million. The acquisition is a perfect fit into the ecosystem and Facebook kept its promise to allow Whatsapp to function independently under the Facebook umbrella.
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26B in 2016, currently having 400 million users which will function independently under the Microsoft umbrella.
Whatsapp has grown exponentially from 450 million users to 1 billion users which is over 125% growth in users. But they are non-paying users. After the takeover of Facebook, it declared the application free for life. So currently the platform is not generating any revenue for the parent. It has to still develop the revenue model like it successfully did with its previous acquisition Instagram with hinder-less advertisement. They don’t have any other services other than the major messaging app. They are investing on end-to-end security and encryption for their messages and voice calls but currently there is no ROI.
LinkedIn has various services for its customers. It gives their customers premium services(quite expensive) at a fee. They have a base of good useful classified data of 400 million executives on the platform. LinkedIn has another service under the banner ‘Talent Solutions’ which gives its featured products and services to its clients. It generates 65% of the total revenue for the portal. LinkedIn has a very good talent pool ranked at #9 comparable to Google and Apple. Microsoft gets access to this talent pool too. Secondly it is currently generating a revenue of $3 billion annually. Lastly, it has the potential to make Microsoft enter the social connectivity sphere as the preferred social recruiter for their clients as it is expected that more than 60% of the recruitment in future is expected to go online.
By now you might have concluded that LinkedIn is a better acquisition due to its present revenue stream, potential to grow more and a good talent pool compare to Whatsapp where revenue stream is still a mystery. Whatsapp gained prominence due to its premium features, security and no advertisements. People were ready to pay $1/annually for this service. Facebook(2 years no revenue) has to find a revenue source out of Whatsapp to get ROI against LinkedIn which has a recurring revenue stream and if exploited well will get better returns for Microsoft!!!!!!!
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