Brian Acton, one of the co-founders of WhatsApp, in an exclusive interview with Forbes, shared his story of struggle with Facebook.
Ten months ago he left the Corporation, declaring the desire to engage in non-commercial activities, and only now decided to share the details of this four-year history.
We have carefully read the material and ready to provide you a summary of important details.
In 2014, the Acton and co-founder Jan koum sold his brainchild Corporation Facebook for $ 22 billion. At that time, the deal seemed daunting, but none of the users could not imagine how strained will be the interaction of the old team and the new owners.
As recognized by Acton, it was silly to contact the company whose income is 98% dependent on the sale ads. WhatsApp successfully serves more than half a billion people, that could not fail to attract big business players.
The first serious step was taken by Google, which dared to invite the founders to their headquarters. Undoubtedly, such a move podzadorilo Zuckerberg, and he made a knight’s move.
It came with a big pile of money and made an offer we couldn’t refuse.
End-to-end encryption is the basis, then what keeps the whole ideology is a convenient and simple Messager. However, the moral code of the owners of the company did not saved the project from monetization.
The deal was supposed to go quickly and most importantly, by the harsh anti-monopoly Committee of Europe. Acton strongly encouraged to justify the complexity of merging two data systems. We are talking about system matching WhatsApp and Facebook accounts by phone number.
Zuckerberg strongly supported the position of Jan and Acton and a total rush, almost no one paid attention to the monetization section. However, the founders promised a free work over the next five years after purchase.
This bold move did not go unnoticed. The European Commission established the fact of submission of false information during the approval process of the transaction to the merger. And the Corporation was fined in the amount of 110 million euros.
We expect returns!
Facebook is not bad, it is run by good businessmen.
The Corporation has seen two main ways of monetization. The first was the withdrawal of advertising in the status of the account, and the second involved working directly with the corporate sector, which was supposed to provide tools on interaction and processing of statistics on the basis of the WhatsApp.
The Acton proposed model with the limit of messages, which the user would have to pay a penny comic. But it’s not the idea that you can earn a lot of money, but it is so much as demanded the ambitions of Facebook.
And despite the promises, after 3 years, Zuckerberg expressed hope that WhatsApp will bring 10 billion within 5 years after the start of monetization. This meant high dependence on advertising, but what else can you expect from a Corporation with the largest advertising network?
The honor more…
In the end, I sold my company… I sold the privacy of its users and live with it every day.
The reason for the departure was the issue of non-secret encryption, at the moment it is not clear whether it was at all. Acton left the Corporation after losing $ 850 million. This is due to the fact that at the time of dismissal tranche of the stock grants was not completed.
Facebook closely monitors its public image, it is logical that the company’s lawyers were looking for ways to normalize relations, including in the form of a cash grant. So for the opportunity to «speak» Brian generously paid.
Now he develops his non-profit project Signal. A small application allows you to exchange messages and haunts all those ideals that failed to save to database WhatsApp.
September 25, on his retirement was announced by the developers of the social network Instagram. The company in 2012 also bought Facebook. The reasons for this decision are not specified.