What's the deal with WhatsApp? Video
What's the deal with WhatsApp? Video Transcript
-Facebook wants to be king of the text message. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. When Facebook agreed to purchase Whatsapp for $19 billion, most people were asking "what's Whatsapp." Well, put simply, it's a private messaging app that's massively popular around the world and people use it instead of sending regular SMS text messages. Whatsapp has 450 million monthly active users. That's almost double the monthly active users of Twitter. It's not as popular in America. Most folks in the U.S. don't bother with using a separate app for text messages because many wireless plans include unlimited texting, but in other countries, texting can be costly especially if you're testing friends and family living abroad. Whatsapp gets around the texting fees because it uses a data connection. It's free for the first 12 months and only a dollar a year after that. So, you might ask how is Whatsapp worth $19 billion to Facebook. It is a shocking amount of money, but you can argue it was a good deal. Let's break it down. Each day, Whatsapp has 1 million new members signing up. It won't be long before it hits a billion users. With every member paying 1-dollar annual subscription fees, Facebook now is bringing in major revenue. Right now, more than 18 billion messages are sent a day on Whatsapp. That includes texts, and videos, and photos, but that's close to the same amount of regular SMS messages that are sent around the world each day from all the cellular companies combined. This is becoming the more popular way to text. Whatsapp has a larger and faster growing user base than Twitter. So, if Whatsapp is growing more than Twitter and Twitter's worth $30 billion, then Mark Zuckerberg got a good deal for paying $19 billion. When you look at how often people use the app, they use it more than Facebook. About 70 percent of Whatsapp users are engaging with the app each day compared to Facebook's 61 percent engagement. This was Facebook's biggest mobile challenger, but not anymore. In gadget news, Xbox one owners will soon be able to buy a media remote for the console. Microsoft announced the Xbox One media remote will hit stores in early March for $25. And if you wanted more tech in your toothbrush, Oral-B announced a new smart series electric toothbrush that sends data to your smartphone using Bluetooth. Yes, a Bluetooth toothbrush. It tracks how well you're brushing and reports back on an app. It will be $300 when it goes on sale later this year. That's your tech news update, but you can find more details at cnet.com/update and you could always keep up with the latest stories by following along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.
In our first episode of CNET Update, Bridget Carey explains what you need to know about Intel's new Ivy Bridge chipset, Facebook's patent-shopping spree, and the new Galaxy Nexus on Sprint.
Google may be in talks to buy messenger app WhatsApp, the next Xbox could be revealed in May, and the smart-wrist revolution continues with the LinkMe.
One of the biggest tech events of the year is about to kick off in Las Vegas. CNET's Bridget Carey highlights what to expect at CES 2014.
Whether you want to brush better with the Kolibree Bluetooth toothbrush or find your keys with the StickR TrackR, sensors are making everyday items smarter. CNET's Bridget Carey takes a look at what's getting early buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
CNET's Bridget Carey talks to Roger Cheng about what our smartphones could look like in 2013.
Bridget Carey quickly breaks down Apple's WWDC event, the top games from E3 2012, and what Facebook's App Center is really about.
CNET's Bridget Carey breaks down the new features of the Xbox One, including live TV and Kinect controls, and what questions Microsoft still needs to answer
Last week, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion. Not familiar with the mobile-messaging app? CNET's Kara Tsuboi brings you up to date on WhatsApp, which boasts 450 million users around the world, and other apps for free texting in this Tech Minute.
The company's problems began a year ago, as it bungled price-hikes and aborted the Qwikster spin-off. Bridget Carey chats with CNET's Greg Sandoval about what went wrong at the once-beloved tech company.
In this special edition of CNET Update, Bridget Carey shows off Google Glass and explains the basics of the computer headset.