co-founder sees challenges in U.S. and other markets
Send a link to a friend
[June 05, 2014]
By Sarah McBride
PALO ALTO Ca. (Reuters) -
Boosting the adoption of messaging service WhatsApp in
the United States and some other markets is proving
difficult, co-founder Brian Acton said, but the company
will still create substantial revenue for prospective
parent Facebook Inc <FB.O>.
“Growth in the United States is a challenge for us,” Acton said on
Wednesday after a talk at StartX, an incubator for young companies
affiliated with Stanford University.
He also cited Japan and Taiwan as countries where “we could have
been more successful with a little bit more effort.”
But Acton otherwise struck an upbeat tone in his first public
comments since Facebook said earlier this year it would acquire
fast-growing WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock.
Acton noted what he saw as WhatsApp’s value, saying he believed it
would send 1 billion new users to the social network, even as
WhatsApp services remain apart from Facebook’s.
He described the relationship between the two companies as “separate
but equal,” saying co-mingling the services would create “risk and
“We don’t look at it from the experience of, ‘We’re going to get
swallowed by the Borg,’” he said, referring to a group in the show
“Star Trek” who assimilate other species.
Downplaying concerns that Facebook could learn data about WhatsApp
users, Acton said WhatsApp had little valuable information to share.
[to top of second column]
“We don’t have much beyond a phone number to work with,” he said,
adding the company's staff didn't trawl through user messages.
Talking to reporters later, he said all messages were anyway
(Editing by David Holmes)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.