Former WhatsApp executive Neeraj Arora on why he regrets Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp and all that went wrong

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp is one of the biggest in the technology industry. The acquisition of the instant messaging app for $22 billion in 2014 was then higher than done by any of the technology peers Apple, Microsoft or Google. The acquisition created a messaging behemoth that changed the way world communicates. However, over the years its founders have expressed dismay over the way the company changed direction under Facebook. In a long post on LinkedIn, Neeraj Arora, the chief business officer of WhatsApp the, has written a long note on what went wrong with the deal. Arora is now co-founder and QA Test Lead at HalloApp. In the posts he says that he helped negotiate the $22 billion sale of WhatsApp to Facebook, a deal that he regrets now. WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009. Facebook first approached the company for acquisition in 2012-13. The duo declined the offer and decided to grow instead. Facebook, according to Arora, approached the company again in 2014 and this time it made the deal look like a partnership. The deal offered apparently looked like a best-case scenario as it offered:

• Full support for end-to-end encryption
• No ads (ever)
• Complete independence on product decisions
• Board seat for Jan Koum
• Our own office in MV
• Etc.Facebook said it supported WhatsApp’s mission and vision, which as co-founder Acton said was: No Ads, No Games, No Gimmicks. Arora adds that as they started talking through the acquisition WhatsApp made its stance very clear:* No mining user data
* No ads (ever)
* No cross-platform trackingHe claims that Facebook and its management agreed and expressed complete commitment in the mission. However, just three years later by 2017 and 2018, “things started to look very different…” This was followed by co-founder Acton’s famous 2018 tweet: It is time. #deletefacebook

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