WhatsApp (Photo credit: abulhussain)
Over the weekend word leaked out in Techcrunch about Facebook having an interest in buying WhatsApp. This is not so far fetched when you think about Skype previously buying GroupMe back in 2011 which gives Skype the ability to send group texts, but also more SMS capabilities than it had previously.
For FaceBook, the ability to have better SMS technology gives it a competitive technology that could be much like iMessage and BBM, both of which provide over the top messaging, but what Facebook really gets is a way to send messages without having to always pay SMS charges through gateway providers, which means that they have more capabilities. WhatsApp also has one or two other features that would place Facebook ahead of Twitter, which uses SMS to send tweets from smartphones, unless a Twitter app is in place.
Having used What's App for more than a year now, the big benefit is in it's being an Over the Top (OTT) messaging where I can send text messages internationally without paying international rates to mobile operators. What's more, WhatsApp also enables MMS-sending photos and voice notes to another WhatsApp user. For Facebook these would be essential complimentary tools to further propel their billion dollar acquisition of Instagram and more.