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Thanks for reading and for your comment. I completely agree, the valuations on these companies has gotten out of control and there's certainly a large amount of luck involved with being in the right place at the right time. At the end of the day, it's just about how much potential revenue Facebook sees in these new 450M members and what that's worth to them.
PS- PolicyMic ran a great article called "15 Things Cheaper than WhatsApp", including the entire world's music industry and the cost of providing clean water to the entire world for a whole year. I'd recommend checking it out: http://www.policymic.com/articles/82945/15-things-that-are-cheaper-than-whatsapp
Thanks for commenting John, I'm glad you agree. Facebook really flexed some muscle with this purchase proving that they're prepared to envelope any company that's a potential threat to outdo them; that's a pretty powerful message. I can't see this not going down as a brilliant purchase even years from now (think Disney's purchase of Pixar).
Thanks for reading Madhava, I'm glad you enjoyed. It's certainly expensive though at $42/user, it's not so much out of the range of what people are paying for comparable companies-- just that most of those comps don't have 450M active users. I think that this will end up being a smart move for Facebook.
Thanks fo reading, I'm glad you learned something from my post!