Facebook's purchase of Whatsapp for $16 billion is getting a ton of press. Everyone is either talking about how brilliant Facebook is, or how scared they are. I think it's both.
No doubt about it, Facebook is still the big Goliath in terms of sheer numbers, and is to be roundly congratulated on that. But, ask most users about Facebook, and they'll tell you that, well, it's boring. That's with Instagram and all the other acquisitions. And, yes, Facebook makes money, but even that has been a struggle, as brands start to wonder if they're really getting their money's worth.
Tencent's WeChat, on the other hand, is a very interesting play. With a $120 Billion market cap, Tencent has seen WeChat grow to over 400 million users worldwide, including a 375 percent growth in users outside China in the last quarter of 2013. Profitable from the get-go, WeChat doesn't rely on an advertising model, but instead sells virtual products to eager users.
It should be noted that Tencent, who also owns QQ, with 816 million users, doesn't really think they need the American market to be successful. Unlike Facebook, who absolutely needs the Chinese market to sustain it's growth.
So added to WeChat's impressive roster of messaging, games, photos in StoryCam, and mobile payments, THIS might be the big Goliath everyone else is chasing.
The global battle for the selfie generation is GameOn, that's for sure.
Follow Beverly Macy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/beverlymacy