Friday 19 January 2018

Five things Facebook could have spent its money on instead of WhatsApp

The Facebook and WhatsApp app icons displayed on an iPhone.
The Facebook and WhatsApp app icons displayed on an iPhone.

Lucy Kinder

Facebook acquired WhatsApp at a cost of $19 billion (€13.85 billion) but what could the money have also been spent on?

1. Bail out Cyprus

Facebook could have bailed out the struggling Mediterranean economy Cyprus

The Cypriot economy is worth €18 billion (approximately £14 million) although the cost of bailing it out has been placed at €23 billion (£19 billion). The government in Nicosia has agreed to sell gold reserves to raise around €400m to help finance its part of its own bail-out.

In one simple transaction, Facebook could have solved the country's economic woes although it is unlikely that they would have appreciated the £7.2 million in Facebook shares that form part of the Whatsapp deal

2. Fight AIDS for a year

If it had not bought WhatsApp, Facebook could provide enough money to fight the Aids virus for a year. According to the United Nations the world spent just under £11 billion fighting Aids in 2012 and by 2015 between £13 billion and £14 billion will be needed per year to combat aids.

3. Take on a country

Facebook could have bought Mozambique. The country's GDP is $18.9 billion (£11.32 billion), which is just under figure that the social media giant has offered for WhatsApp.

4. Create a drone programme

Amazon is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers but Facebook could have developed its own drone fleet. It cost $11.8 billion (£7.1 billion) to create one of the most powerful drones deployed in the world, the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone.

It is capable of remote controlled flights and is designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. The drones have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and according to the Ministry of Defence they have been used to fire more than 400 "precision-guided" weapons since 2007.

The Reaper has a range of 1,000 nautical miles and an operational altitude of 50,000 feet and be used in a number of non-military situations. One Reaper drone costs approximately $16.9 million (£10.1 million) .

5. Buy twenty football teams

Facebook could have bought the 20 most valuable football clubs in the world. According to the latest figures by Forbes, Real Madrid is the world's most valuable football club with a value of $3.3 billion. Buying all top 20 teams combined with cost approximately $18.9 million.

For that Facebook would get seven English football teams, two Spanish teams, four Germam teams, four Italian teams, two French teams and a Brazilian team.

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