WhatsApp, the insanely popular instant messaging service used by 190 million monthly active users, is about to get a splash of Facebook blue. The social media giant announced it is acquiring the cross-platform messaging service for $16 billion—more specifically, $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash, per the SEC filing. Facebook says the agreement also “provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.”
"I’m here to build something for the long term," Zuckerberg said. "Anything else is a distraction."
February 4th, 2014 is Facebook’s 10th anniversary. Read our 2007 cover story on Mark Zuckerberg and the social network’s beginnings.
Makers of the Paper app are asking Facebook to change the name of its new app… Paper.
EVERY STORY HAS A NAME
FiftyThree’s story began with Paper. What began with three guys building an app out of a New York City apartment has gone on to become one of the most celebrated applications on iOS, defining mobile creativity and winning Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year. Paper embodied our belief that technology should support the human need to create. It’s a beautifully simple app that lets anyone capture their ideas and share them over the web. For millions of creators around the world, Paper is where they call home for their ideas—100 million, in fact, over the last two years. Paper has come to represent endless creative potential, and we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to our story.
Stories have twists.
So it came as a surprise when we learned on January 30th with everyone else that Facebook was announcing an app with the same name—Paper. Not only were we confused but so were our customers (twitter) and press (1,2,3,4). Was this the same Paper? Nope. Had FiftyThree been acquired? Definitely not. Then, what’s going on?
We reached out to Facebook about the confusion their app was creating, and they apologized for not contacting us sooner. But an earnest apology should come with a remedy.
Stories reveal character.
There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.
On a personal level we have many ties to Facebook. Many friends, former students and colleagues are doing good work at Facebook. One of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree. We’re a Facebook developer, and Paper supports sharing to Facebook where close to 500,000 original pages have been shared. Connections run deep.
What will Facebook’s story be? Will they be the corporate giant who bullies their developers? Or be agile, recognize a mistake, and fix it? Is it “Move fast and break things” or “Move fast and make things”?
We’re all storytellers. And we show care for each other by caring for our stories. Thanks for supporting us.
Co-Founder and CEO
"With complaints about Facebook’s news feed getting bogged down by ads and irrelevant content, the app stands as a stark contrast with its simplicity and full-screen ("distraction-free") layout."
Pour one out for Facebook, which in a few short years may become a shell of its current, blue-bordered self. According to a new study out of Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Facebook will see a dramatic drop in usage rates before the end of the decade, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.
An iStrategyLabs report found teenage users ages 13 to 17 have declined 25% within the last three years to 9.8 million in January 2014. Meanwhile, the 55-and-older subset have taken to the social network, with more than 28 million users in that demographic, an 80% growth over the same period.
Facebook’s 2013 Year In Review looks back at the news events we cared about and the personal events we felt compelled to share with our friends and followers.
And they refuse to explain why. It’s time for the tech giants to do a little reconciling for their massive support of renewable energy policy and their support of a legislative group that’s now trying to punish people for generating their own solar energy.
Not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos or text-based updates, they actually account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook. According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. And as we’ve mentioned before, self-explanatory photos seem to perform best.
"It’s easy to understand why the growth specialists, data scientists, and engineers that define a growth team are the most coveted hires for many startups in Silicon Valley. This is quickly spreading to other industries as well, as more and more companies realize that growth hacking, at its core, is really just an intense focus on understanding and shaping the customer experience with data. Even Walmart’s marketing chief, Stephen Quinn, recently shared at the ANA Conference that they now are seeing an ROI on Facebook and Twitter to the tune of 10 times what they see through other advertising. Why? Because once they measured user engagement, they understood the power of their now 31 million Facebook fans.”
A scientific guide to writing popular (and sharable) headlines for Twitter, Facebook, and your blog, from the co-founder of Buffer.
“I only found the option to delete my Facebook account—buried in the help center—with the assistance of Google.”
Don’t leave! We can work it out! I’ll change, I promise! You’ll miss me! Facebook makes deactivating your account really difficult.