A little backstory here — Brian Acton, the co-founder of Whatsapp, sold his company to Facebook for about $22 billion, back in 2014, and turned from a “poor guy” into a multi-billionaire.
Fast-forward to today — the Whatsapp co-founder recently had a little too-deep interview with Forbes. And man! He is not happy!
In the interview, he said a lot of things about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, WhatsApp acquisition, and $850 million that he lost due to his exit from Facebook.
Shortening it down, the whole argument revolves around Whatsapp’s monetization and Facebook trying to shift the targeted advertising attention to the messaging service. Since the acquisition, the primary target of Facebook was to somehow make a huge chunk of money out of Whatsapp which, of course, Acton never agreed to.
“I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day,” he further said about selling WhatsApp.
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Since Mark Zuckerberg is way past all that, the company apparently plans to go for a business model which’ll essentially inject ads into WhatsApp statuses. Also, Facebook would reportedly charge business users from half a penny to 9 cents, upon every message they receive from potential consumers over the platform.
This was not the only thing Zuckerberg and Acton disagreed upon. He also revealed that he was coached by Facebook to lie to the European Commission (EU) about the linking of Facebook and WhatsApp data.
Of course, the company did link the data and received a $122 million fine form EU as well — only it took two whole years for EU to find out about it. According to Brian Acton, leaving Facebook cost him around $850 million since his Facebook stocks weren’t fully vested.
The whole leaving debacle is getting quite interesting if you think about it. Just recently, Instagram co-founder also left Facebook over clashes with Mark Zuckerberg. Call me superstitious, but there is something about 2018 and Mark Zuckerberg. I mean, look at him in his testimony for the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.