Eat Your Heart Out, Snapchat: Facebook Buys Whatsapp for $16b

on Wednesday, Feb. 19th

After this afternoon’s news that Facebook is purchasing messaging app Whatsapp for $16 billion, there’s a sentiment that’s swirling around in the non-tech Twitterverse: “how can an app we’ve never heard of” be worth this much? (Emphasis mine).

Sequoia Capital’s blog has a celebratory post that breaks down some of the numbers, including a key one: Whatsapp has 450 million users.

And a lot of those users are in India and the UK, where the app took off a full year before I began noticing American friends appearing in my contacts list.

As to that emphasis above: Americans seem to be baffled that a product not centered on U.S. users could be worth that much. Don’t be.

Whatsapp has a paid subscription service. India is one billion strong, and Mark Zuckerberg and his project aim to get more of them online — and onto mobile:

India is a really big opportunity if we can achieve something like this. My understanding is that there are only a 100 million people, may be a bit more, who have broadband Internet access out of the population of a billion or more. And a way more people have phones but a lot of them have no access to the Internet on their phones. We want to work with the mobile operators there and people who are selling phones like Nokia, Samsung, who are partners of the And in order to make the economics work, these people who could not afford Internet access before will now be going to have some Internet access.


To Build The VR Education of Tomorrow One Scholar Turns To The Past

There are plenty of folks in the education technology field who are excited about virtual reality as the next great educational tool.



We’re Closer To Our Photorealistic VR Future Than You’d Think (INTERVIEW)

A look into the virtual world of tomorrow with USC researcher Paul Debevec.


Prepare Yourselves For The Personal VR Video Revolution

Virtual Reality is rapidly approaching a watershed moment.

Ralph Echemendia

Spoiler Alert: Hollywood Isn’t Taking Cyber Security Seriously (LA Film Fest)

Tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival, squeezed in between movies and red carpet events, a symposium on Cyber Security is being held at the Grammy Museum.

Gumroad Rentals H

Rent Video Straight From Social Media Via Gumroad

The people who brought the “Buy Now” button to Twitter are going all-in on film distribution.