Facebook seeks to become the middleman in most, if not all our online communications.
The company owns 4 of the 10 most downloaded apps of the decade (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp), cumulating over 3.1 billion active users across its services.
The spectacular acquisition of WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars in 2014 (a company which was showing significant net losses) showed Facebook’s abyssal appetite to wolf down the social traffic of the Internet.
Rather than being a source of revenue itself, WhatsApp (currently 2 billion users) would instead constitute an additional highway for driving more behavioural data to Facebook. It is also the primary goal of most online services offered “for free”: to collect more personal data in order to monetize them into highly performant prediction products.