retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Facebook has announced that it will buy WhatsApp, a messaging company that supplies a replacement for traditional text messaging, for $19 billion in cash and stock.

The Wall Street Journal writes that WhatsApp "has seen its use more than double in the past nine months to 450 million monthly users. That makes its service more popular than Twitter Inc., the widely used microblogging service which has about 240 million users and is currently valued at about $30 billion."
KC's View:
To be honest, I'd never heard of WhatsApp until Facebook bought it. To now find out that it is more popular than Twitter reinforces for me how much I don't know.

And here's the other passage from the story that grabbed my attention:

What isn't clear is how much revenue WhatsApp makes—the company declined to comment on its sales. It charges 99 cents a year after one year of free use and doesn't carry ads. On a conference call, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he doesn't think ads are the right way to monetize messaging systems.

Nobody ever told me that generating revenue wasn't one of the central goals of operating a business….