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WhatsApp Co-Founder Talks Facebook Deal, Future
WhatsApp Co-Founder Talks Facebook Deal, Future

 
June 16, 2014 9:36AM

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Unassuming Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brian Acton, one of the two co-founders of the messaging app WhatsApp, says the Facebook acquisition that made him a billionaire has left him "dumbstruck." Many analysts have warned that WhatsApp will now have to play by Facebook's rules, which will involve using user data to better their services.
 



WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton said that he is still "numb" from the Facebook deal and is trying to come to terms with his new life as a billionaire.

Acton, one of the two co-founders of the messaging app, was making his first public appearance at StartX, a startup incubator affiliated with Stanford University. The Facebook employee opened up about his personal feelings in a wide-ranging interview about the $19 billion deal with Facebook and WhatsApp's privacy policy.

"More than anything, you are somewhat numb," Acton said of the negotiation process with Facebook. "You are dumbstruck as to what's going on. You have this flotilla of lawyers around you. And it was a lot of lawyers, I'll tell you that. Ninety-six hours of being in conference rooms with lawyers non-stop."

"By the end of it you're just numb. You're just trying to sort of grasp it all, and I don't think I really do grasp it all just yet. I think that it will hit me in stages. It's going to change my life, I know that. I'm looking forward to it, but it also with some apprehension," he added.

Dressed in a WhatsApp company T-shirt, cargo shorts and a Stanford cap, Acton looked like he was unaffected by his billionaire status and looked every bit the unassuming Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Acton said that he and co-founder Jan Koum decided it was better to accept Facebook's offer rather than endure Wall Street's scrutiny by floating an Initial Public Offering.

"I think we hit a point in our lifetime of the company when we were either going to be acquired or have to go public," Acton said. "There's far more pain in going public. And Mark, by the way, already did it. So kudos to the guy for doing it. He had the energy to do it, he had the stamina do it. I don't know if I personally had that stamina."

Many analysts have warned that WhatsApp will now have to play by Facebook's rules, which will involve using user data to better their services, but Acton said that WhatsApp had no plans to change its privacy policy.

"It's not like we're going to, on day one, send all this data over to Facebook," he said. "And by the way, we don't have any data. People don't really understand this, but we don't have much beyond a phone number to work with."

WhatsApp and Facebook are both awaiting regulatory approval for the deal. The deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S., but Facebook wanted the European Union to review the deal as well.
 


© 2014 UPI Business News under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Azalea:

Posted: 2014-06-18 @ 12:25am PT
Will the change cost the users using whattsApp in future?

Cos I received a message, (✅ Hello, I. Am VARUN PULYANI director of whatsapp, this message is to inform all of our users that we have sold whatsapp to Mark Zuckerberg for 19 billion $. WhatsApp is now controlled by mark zuckerberg. If you have at least 10 contacts send this sms and logo of your whatsapp will change to a new icon with facebook's "f" within 24 hours.

Forward this message to more than 10 people to activate your new whatsapp with facebook services or else your account will be deleted from new servers.

Confirming this is the new icon WhatsApp ☑ ®

Send it to all your contacts to update the application
♻send this to 10 people
To activate the new whatsapp.

Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the team WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user
send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo will change color. ✳
send this to 8 people to activate the new whatsapp ✔✔".

Is this valid?



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