BY SARAH MCBRIDE PALO ALTO Ca. – Boosting the adoption of messaging service WhatsApp in the United States and some other markets is proving difficult, co-founder Brian Acton said, but the company will still create substantial revenue for prospective parent Facebook Inc.
“Growth in the United States is a challenge for us,” Acton said on Wednesday after a talk at StartX, an incubator for young companies affiliated with Stanford University.
Acton noted what he saw as WhatsApp’s value, saying he believed it would send 1 billion new users to the social network, even as WhatsApp services remain apart from Facebook’s.
He described the relationship between the two companies as “separate but equal,” saying co-mingling the services would create “risk and peril.”
Downplaying concerns that Facebook could learn data about WhatsApp users, Acton said WhatsApp had little valuable information to share.
“We don’t have much beyond a phone number to work with,” he said, adding the company’s staff didn’t trawl through user messages. Talking to reporters later, he said all messages were anyway encrypted. (Reuters)