When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012, industry experts believed the social media giant overpaid for the photo app. The same brand of thinking followed Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February this year. Regarded as the tech deal of the century, industry opinion was split down the middle on whether the deal made any sense, or Facebook massively overpaid for WhatsApp.
And then in March, Facebook announced its plan to acquire Oculus VR, the maker of virtual-reality for $2 billion (the deal was approved by the FTC in May); the acquisition was completed in July. Needless to say, the deal evoked polarized reactions from the industry in general, Oculus’ Kickstarter backers and the stock markets.
This led to a fresh round of debates and discussions about Facebook’s penchant for making deals that don’t make immediate sense. The keyword here is ‘immediate.’ Dig a little deeper and the acquisitions start making sense (at least people start to tell themselves that they make sense).