Dubai: A lot of things can happen in a few years’ time and it can even make you a billionaire. That is exactly what happened to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. He applied for a job at Twitter in May 2009 and was rejected. He tried at Facebook in August, the same year, and again his job application was turned down .
“Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure,” Acton tweeted on August 3, 2009.
Almost five years later, the start-up founded by Acton and Ukrainian Jan Koum in 2009 was sold for an eye-popping $19 billion to Facebook on Wednesday.
Koum always keeps a note from Acton that says “no ads! no games! no gimmicks!” That shows how dedicated and focused they are on creating the messaging platform that has 450 million subscribers.
The purchase of Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 was Facebook’s largest until the WhatsApp deal.
The deal also deals a major blow to Google, which made a bid for WhatsApp last year for $1 billion and the biggest acquisition so far than what Google, Apple or Microsoft have done.
“It is an interesting deal and quite an amount of money. From the market perspective, it is hard to say whether it is a step in the right direction right now because of the sheer amount of money,” Paul Black, Director of Telecoms and Media at research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), said talking to Gulf News.
“Facebook swallowed up the competition before it became too big. The hefty price Facebook paid is not for an app but for a company that dominates mobile social platforms,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner.