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I agree with Mark Zuckerberg, a service that can reach a billion people has huge potential – untapped as yet by WhatsApp alone. I thought it was funny he said $17b was cheap – he wouldn’t have said that before the price was announced :-)
Your math is off. That is $17 per user, assuming 1 Billion users, which is far from true, since whatsapp has less than 500 million. So that’s $34 per user.
Now, consider that those users are people who love whatsapp because it’s basically free when SMS costs money. So he paid $34 per user for users with no loyalty, and who seek free. Yes, you can monetize free users…but I hope you’ll agree that getting your money back at $34 each is a lot harder than at 17 cents each.
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