Koum and Brian Acton founded WhatsApp back in 2009. It doubled down on its pledge by adding encryption in 2016. The same year also saw WhatsApp beginning to share its data with parent company Facebook, in a limited manner.
Facebook, though, needs to prove that its investment in WhatsApp - its largest acquisition ever - was worth it.
Facebook has declined SiliconValley.com's request for comment at this time. Zuckerberg's inner circle of management and its board of directors have been very loyal as scandals have plagued the social network. With that in mind it's nearly inevitable that Facebook will find a way to monetise the app, of course how it does that is still very much up in the air. Both Koum and Acton, who quit Facebook in September, will have left the company within that time. He has joined a chorus of former executives critical of Facebook. Facebook has be accused of compromising user data of more than 87 million users by Cambridge Analytica, a data firm and used to influence elections in the U.S. as well as India. He praised the team behind the app, and said that he was "taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee". Nine years later, WhatsApp with over 1.5 billion monthly users, has become the darling of the tech community. It promised private communications for 99 cents a year.
But even in the early days, there were signs of a mismatch.
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The WhatsApp co-founders were also big believers in privacy. They made a condition to preserve it when they sold the messaging service to Facebook.
How and if WhatsApp would make money was left an open question.
- WhatsApp finally goes completely free as Koum announced in January that WhatsApp will no longer charge its users a $1 annual subscription fee.
According to Facebook this would allow you to find new friends to connect with and of course it then fed into Facebook's own advertising systems. In 2016 it started sharing some user data, although this led to an European Union fine. As things stand, WhatsApp makes close to zero revenue as the company has long shrugged off any potential advertising on its platform.
4- Recently Facebook introduced WhatsApp business - an app aimed at connecting small businesses with their customers and clients. It has nonetheless continued to pursue a model of providing tools to businesses that are created to reach WhatsApp users. In fact, the executive said, people have already used about 2billionminutes of video calling on WhatsApp alone (and Zuckerberg apparently contributes to them, relying on the service to video chat with his young daughters when he's on the road).