Neeraj Arora, former chief business officer of WhatsApp regrets sale to Facebook

Neeraj Arora, former chief business officer of WhatsApp regrets sale to Facebook
Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 in a $22 billion dealPixabay
  • Neeraj Arora, the former chief business officer of WhatsApp has said that he regrets the sale to Facebook.
  • Arora, who helped in negotiations with Facebook says WhatsApp today is a shadow of its earlier versions.
  • WhatsApp is currently Meta’s second biggest platform.
Popular messaging app WhatsApp was acquired by Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook (now known as Meta) in 2014 for around $22 billion in cash and stock. The messaging app’s former chief business officer Neeraj Arora who helped in the negotiations now says that he regrets it.

Facebook had acquired WhatsApp in a multi-billion dollar deal, making it the biggest acquisition for the company. The acquisition happened around five years after WhatsApp was launched and three years after Arora joined the company.

In a series of tweets, Neeraj Arora talks about the circumstances around the deal and the promises made by Facebook to convince WhatsApp’s founder Brain Acton to sell the app to the social media giant.

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“In 2014, I was the Chief Business Officer of WhatsApp and I helped negotiate the $22 billion sale to Facebook. Today, I regret it,” Arora said on Twitter.

According to Arora, Facebook had approached WhatsApp for acquiring the messaging app in 2012/2013 and the latter had rejected the offer. However, Facebook approached WhatsApp once again in 2014.


Promises made by Facebook

Arora claims that Facebook’s offer in 2014 sounded like a partnership due to the promises made by the Zuckerberg led company.

  • Full support for end-to-end encryption.
  • No ads.
  • Independence on product decisions.
  • Board seat for Jan Koum (WhatsApp cofounder and former CEO).
  • Office in Mountain View.
Arora added that Facebook claimed that it supported WhatsApp’s mission of offering a service without any ads, games or gimmicks.

He also added that Facebook had agreed to WhatsApp’s following terms – no mining user data, no ads and no cross-platform tracking. “Of course, that’s not what happened,” says Arora.

The final nail in the coffin was the Cambridge Analytica scandal which revealed that personal data of millions of Facebook users was collected by Cambridge Analytica without user consent.

Brian Acton had shared a tweet, asking people to delete Facebook.

“Today, WhatsApp is Facebook’s second largest platform (even bigger than Instagram or FB Messenger). But it’s a shadow of the product we poured our hearts into, and wanted to build for the world,” says Arora.

In an attack on Facebook’s policies around user data, Arora said, “Nobody knew in the beginning that Facebook would become a Frankenstein monster that devoured user data and spat out dirty money. We didn’t either.”

Arora is the cofounder of HalloApp, which has raised funds from Sequoia Capital, Brian Acton, former Facebook board director Jim Breyer and others. HalloApp intends to charge a subscription fee to its subscribers, which is expected to be between $2 to $5 per month.


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