Weekly Class - Speaking Practice "Facebook Buys Whatsapp" - The English Training Company

Weekly Class – Speaking Practice “Facebook Buys Whatsapp”

Hi everyone! Here is our weekly class (06/03 – 10/03) (speaking practice & feedback). (English Level = B1 & B2).


Speaking Practice – Summarising information:

Audio record your summary (1-3 min) of the business news story below. Email it to info@englishtco.com and get feedback from an English trainer.


Feedback criteria:

  1. Summarise only key information
  2. Good structure
  3. Clear, simple and concise ideas (CSC ideas)
  4. Use of English (grammar and vocabulary)

Listen to a manager´s speaking example

(Read the transcription Manager Speaking Example_Summarising Information_TETC).


Facebook buys Whatsapp:

Have a spare $19 billion to spend? Imagine what you could do with $19 billion.

This is of course referring to Facebook’s huge acquisition of the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. Most market analysts labeled the deal as a ´crazy valuation´. The details of the deal show that Facebook will pay $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in restricted stock units over the next 4 years to the WhatsApp founders and employees.

Both Facebook and WhatsApp have stated that Whatsapp will remain autonomous and operate independently and will continue to have a policy of no advertisements.

WhatsApp calls itself “a personal real-time messaging network allowing millions of people around the world to stay connected with their friends and family.”

WhatsApp was started almost 5 years ago with a simple mission: build a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us.

The company now has more than 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users. The app (application) is free to install, and then users pay $0.99 every year. The company has only 50 employees mostly engineers.

Facebook´s CEO Mark Zuckeberg said “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known Jan Koum, the founder, for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

So why did Facebook buy WhatsApp?

A Wall Street Journal analyst concludes that the underlying reason Facebook made the investment is because of what Facebook is getting: an “access into hundreds of millions of customers.” (450 million to be precise is the number of people who use WhatsApp.)

A New York Times’ journalist argues that WhatsApp’s value is in the fact that it is ´address-book-centric´, which means it focuses only on exchanging messages with the people in your ´contacts list´ in your smartphone, tablet or mobile device. While Facebook is more about sending out status updates to a larger circle of friends and people you know.

This isn’t the first time a big tech company has made headlines by spending a lot of money acquiring another. Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion back in 2006 and Facebook bought the photo-sharing app (application) Instagram 2012 for $1 billion. Not all companies have been successful with their acquisitions. News Corporation bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005 and then sold it for $35 million in 2011.


Thanks everyone, Chris.

Have a good week!


This post was written by Christopher Wright and published on 6th March 2017 under the categories: Weekly Class
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