Weekly Digital News Roundup: February 21-25
Facebook Is Acquiring WhatsApp For $19 Billion
- According to WebProNews, Facebook just announced that it is acquiring WhatsApp for approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares. The deal also includes an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units bringing the total to $19 billion.
- The service has over 450 million monthly users with 70% active on a given day, according to the company. More impressive still is that (again, according to the company) messaging volume is approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume, and it’s still rapidly growing. It’s currently adding over a million new users per day.
- Mark Zuckerberg said, “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
LinkedIn Opens Publishing Power to All Users
- According to Mashable, LinkedIn expanded its publishing platform on Wednesday to allow all users the opportunity to write and share longform posts to their LinkedIn profile.
- The network has long offered this publishing power to a hand-selected group of industry leaders, known as LinkedIn Influencers, but now all of the platform’s members can publish work to their profile. The influencer posts do well, says LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products Ryan Roslansky, generating nearly 31,000 views and more than 80 comments on average.
- The change means that LinkedIn should experience an increase in user-generated content online. Not only will the site be open to posts from the general user base, but the company’s Influencer community is also growing. Wednesday’s changes continue LinkedIn’s push to get more users reading news on the platform.
Google Fiber May Be Coming to a City Near You
- According to CNN, in a blog post Wednesday, Google said it’s exploring plans to lay down the special cables in nine metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose. That includes 34 cities in those regions.
- City mayors from across the country have already called for private partnerships to boost their local Internet connections. Now Google is asking city governments for infrastructure blueprints and a streamlined construction process to scope out the construction costs.
- “These cities are led by people who have been working hard to bring faster Internet speeds and the latest technologies to their residents,” the company stated in its blog post. “And they are diverse — not just geographically, but in the ways they’ll give us opportunities to learn about the wide range of challenges and obstacles that communities might face in trying to build a new fiber network.”