Facebook’s $3 billion offer to buy Snapchat points to a growing number of mobile technology acquisitions.
Yesterday The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook offered $3 billion to acquire Snapchat. While Snapchat has declined, Facebook’s offer points to growing trend of technology companies acquiring rather than building new mobile apps.
Most recently, we’ve seen a string of acquisitions by Marissa Mayer, including Tumblr for $1.1 billion, in an effort to boost Yahoo!’s mobile presence. In June Google acquired traffic app Waze and April 2012 Facebook acquired photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion.
Acquisition is a powerful way for companies to get new technology quickly access new customers. Yahoo! acquired Tumblr in part for its 300 million unique visitors, many of who are teenagers. Facebook likely wanted to acquire Snapchat due to its growing popularity with teens. Teen users of Facebook have declined over the past year. By buying mobile apps, companies not only acquire new technology, they also broaden their customer base by acquiring new users.