Facebook has evolved to become a titan social networking. A brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, the company has grown through acquisitions and mergers to become a force to reckon with in the highly competitive field.
A user base of more than 1 billion users stems from strategic investments that Facebook has made on some of the biggest brands in the social networking space. Below are some of the biggest brands that the tech giant owns.
In a bid to strengthen its video ad tech, Facebook completed the acquisition of LiveRail to a tune of between $400 million and $500 million in 2014. The acquisition came as Facebook sought to strengthen its advertising empire, crucial to revenue generation.
LiveRail specializes in providing publishers with unique data and technology for the development of exciting video advertisement for reaching the desired target audience.
Messenger is one of Facebook’s biggest networking apps that has made the company a titan when it comes to instant messaging. With a user base of over 1 billion users, the app has strengthened the Facebook empire thanks to unique and exciting features on voice and video calling.
Messenger has also evolved to become a default form of communication for millions of people worldwide on a daily basis.
Read More: How Facebook Inflated Video Metrics To Attract More Video Ad Spend
3 Oculus VR
In the race to address users’ needs on virtual reality and augmented reality, Facebook forked out $2.3 billion to acquire Oculus VR in 2014. The virtual reality technology has since expanded the company’s footprint onto the development of virtual reality headset hardware.
The virtual reality headsets are poised to expand Facebook footprint into the multibillion-dollar gaming industry. While the tech giant is yet to reveal the actual numbers behind Oculus VR, it is clear it is on its way to dominating the virtual reality software and hardware sector.
Facebook has risen to become a juggernaut in instant messaging thanks to the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. The low-cost alternative to SMS service has become a default means of communication for billions of people around the world.
With estimates placing WhatsApp revenues at close to $5 billion by 2020, underscores how important it is to Facebook’s burgeoning empire. Facebook is believed to be exploring ways of monetizing the app beyond the initial costs and regular fees.
Instagram is Facebook’s biggest brand, given the amount of users it draws on a daily basis. Acquired for $1 billion in 2012, the photo-sharing app is believed to be worth more than $100 billion, given the amount of advertising revenues it brings.
Initial estimates indicate that Instagram generates more revenues than the flagship Facebook app. Instagram transformed Facebook from a web browser service to a mobile app-based service, a move that has helped cement its edge on social networking.Source
Facebook plans to rebrand Instagram and WhatsApp so users know they’re from the social network, a move that highlights how the company is exerting more control over its acquisitions. The apps will say “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.”
“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” Bertie Thomson, a Facebook spokeswoman, said in a statement Friday.
She said the change is currently rolling out slowly and more and more users will start to see the rebranding. The rebranding will appear on Instagram’s and WhatsApp’s login screens and in app store descriptions for the two apps, Thomson said.
The Information, which earlier reported the rebranding, cited three people familiar with the matter and said some employees are surprised and confused about the upcoming change.
Facebook, which has been dealing with a series of privacy and security scandals, allows Instagram and WhatsApp to operate independently and the apps don’t bear the Facebook name. But the apps are also going to become more intertwined with one another in the future. The social network is trying to make it possible for users who use Facebook Messenger, Instagram direct message and WhatsApp to send messages to each other without having to switch apps.
Though Facebook purchased both apps years ago, many consumers don’t know the social network owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.
The change comes as the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook over antitrust concerns. The FTC is looking into whether Facebook’s purchases of companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp were part of a strategy on the part of the social media giant to stifle competition, according to a report this week from The Wall Street Journal.