Thursday, 20 February 2014

HOT NEWS: MMILIKI WA WHATSAPP KUINGIA KATIKA ORODHA YA MABILIONEA DUNIANI ENDAPO ATA IUZA 'APPLICATION' YAKE FACEBOOK KWA BILIONI 19



When WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum signed a deal with Facebook on Wednesday he became an overnight billionaire, but when he first moved to the U.S. he needed food stamps to survive. 
Koum, who is estimated to now be worth about $6.8 billion, was 16 when he moved to the U.S. from Ukraine with his mother. 
He had been raised in a rural community, in a house with no hot water or electricity, and when Koum moved to the U.S. his mother packed their suitcases with school supplies to save money.
Rags to riches: WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, 37, has become a billionaire after selling his chat-app to Facebook, where he will now become a member of the board
Rags to riches: WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, 37, has become a billionaire after selling his chat-app to Facebook, where he will now become a member of the board
But Koum's fortunes soon changed and on Wednesday he returned to the Mountain View welfare office, where he used to queue to get food stamps, to sign his historic deal with Facebook.
The offices for WhatsApp, which 37-year-old Koum created with Brian Acton in 2009, are also only a few blocks from the welfare office.
 


    The pair stood outside the welfare building today as they signed the $19 billion deal with Facebook, only this time Koum was able to drive there in his Porsche.
    His humble beginnings appear to have instilled in him a strong work ethic and dislike for egotism - WhatsApp may be a global phenomenon but it has no sign at its office.
    'I can’t see a reason for there being a sign. It’s an ego boost,' he told Forbes. 'We all know where we work.'
    Humble beginnings: Jan Koum signed the $19billion deal at the welfare office where he used to collect food stamps, located just a few blocks from WhatsApp's officers in Mountain View, California
    Humble beginnings: Jan Koum signed the $19billion deal at the welfare office where he used to collect food stamps, located just a few blocks from WhatsApp's officers in Mountain View, California
    Deal: Koum returned to this Mountain View welfare offices to sign the Facebook deal
    Deal: Koum returned to this Mountain View welfare offices to sign the Facebook deal
    Boom: The free instant messaging service created in 2009 has grown faster than Facebook in its five years, and now has more than 450million monthly users around the world
    Boom: The free instant messaging service created in 2009 has grown faster than Facebook in its five years, and now has more than 450million monthly users around the world
    Koum and Acton developed WhatsApp in coffee shops and at their homes. It took just a few years for the app to be worth billions of dollars. 
    Facebook has paid $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp, and the founders and employees will be granted $3 billion in restricted stock that will vest over four years after the $19 billion deal closes.
    Rejected: Brian Acton was turned down by both Twitter and Facebook before creating WhatsApp
    Rejected: Brian Acton was turned down by both Twitter and Facebook before creating WhatsApp
    The deal shows how much life has changed for the developers, with co-founder Acton being turned down for a job with Facebook in 2009. 
    In a tweet on his Twitter account at the time, he had posted: 'Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life's next adventure.'
    It appears that Twitter turned Acton down for a job in the same year.
    Facebook has said that it will keep WhatsApp as a separate service, just as it did with Instagram, which it bought for about $715.3 million.
    WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users. In comparison, Twitter had 241 million users at the end of 2014.
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says WhatsApp is on path to reach a billion users.
    'The combination of WhatsApp and Facebook will allow us to connect many more people round the world,' Zuckerberg said.
    'It's the only app we've ever seen that has grown more quickly than Facebook itself.'
    'This is an incredible moment for me,' Koum said.
    'Every day over 19 billion messages are sent, with over 1 million new users every day. We wanted it to be simple, and a better service than SMS.'
    Proud moment: Jan Koum, pictured at a digital conference in January, described the deal as 'incredible'
    Proud moment: Jan Koum, pictured at a digital conference in January, described the deal as 'incredible'
    Happy news: Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his Facebook page (where else) last night and revealed that he has known WhatsApp founder Jan for 'a long time'
    Happy news: Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his Facebook page (where else) last night and revealed that he has known WhatsApp founder Jan for 'a long time'




    Facebook promised to keep the WhatsApp brand and service, and pledged a $1 billion cash break-up fee were the deal to fall through.
    Zuckerberg said he was not planning to put ads on WhatsApp and Koum also pledged not to add adverts to the service, which makes money from a subscription model.
    'We think advertising is not the way to go - we create a direct relationship with customers,' Koum said.
    Zuckerberg said WhatsApp would operate in the same way as Instagram, as a separate firm.
    'It would be pretty stupid of us to interfere. Our strategy is to grow and connect people. Once we get to 2-3 billion people there are ways we can monetise.
    'Now we want to focus on growing users. I don't think ads are the right way here.'
    Boost: WhatsApp is still growing and is predicted to have a billion users soon
    Boost: WhatsApp is still growing and is predicted to have a billion users soon
    WhatsApp in numbers

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