Whenever you hear mention of Facebook, you immediately think of the world’s largest social media platform. However, Facebook is also a huge multi-industry conglomerate, owning many multi-million dollar services. In recent years, Facebook has been increasing its presence on the market at an incredible rate, purchasing many smaller services in the process.
Many of the world’s most-used apps are now owned by Facebook – some of them they developed, but many have also been acquired. To put just how massive Facebook really is into perspective, here are 5 huge apps that you (probably) didn’t know were owned by Facebook!
WhatsApp has been one of the largest acquisitions ever made by Facebook, made in 2014 for over $19,000,000,000. WhatsApp remains to be one of the most popular mobile messenger services worldwide, together with Messenger, which is also owned by Facebook.
Before the acquisition, WhatsApp was a small-time app launched in 2009 as an alternative to texting. With WhatsApp, users can send messages, make calls, and share files without any costs.
Instagram was acquired for a relatively small sum of $1 billion, especially when compared to the sums Facebook was prepared to spend on WhatsApp. The company originally started in 2010 as an independent brand, but was acquired in 2012 as it was starting to gain popularity. In 2019 alone, Instagram has generated over $20 billion in revenue for Facebook, which is twenty times what Facebook has paid the original developers.
Facebook has been very open about its interest in virtual reality technology, which culminated in acquiring the Oculus VR brand. Founded in 2012, Oculus VR became famous for its virtual reality gear, mainly designed for playing video games. Oculus Rift was a huge success, and just two years later in 2014, the company was bought by Facebook for $2 billion.
Okay, you probably already knew Messenger was being developed by Facebook – but it’s still worth mentioning simply because of how huge it has become. Together with WhatsApp, Facebook owns the two most downloaded messenger apps around the world, with a whopping 3,3 billion cumulative users.
Beluga is one of the less-known Facebook acquisitions, but it’s definitely one of the most important ones. Beluga was a messaging service provider that just started raising funds for their startup. Facebook bought Beluga and their technology, which eventually powered Facebook’s own Messenger platform.
If Facebook hadn’t stepped in, Beluga might have turned out to become one of the giant’s major rivals. Instead, Facebook gained a huge lead over its other competitors and dominated the world’s messaging industry.