Why BlackBerry's BBM Isn't the Next WhatsApp

BlackBerry's messaging platform got a much-needed bump from Facebook's recent billion-dollar buyout, but investors should keep in mind the key differences between the two.

Feb 27, 2014 at 10:00PM

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shocked the world last week when it announced it had reached an agreement to acquire the uber-popular web-based messaging service WhatsApp for an astounding $19 billion. 

The deal has forced tech investors and analysts alike to consider what this mega deal means for the broader tech industry. And while the deal is still sinking in, one clear indirect beneficiary of Facebook's efforts is resurgent Canadian smartphone firm BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY).

Blackberry Logo Black

Source: BlackBerry

Facebook throws BlackBerry a bone... sort of
In fact, BlackBerry's shares rose noticeably when Facebook's WhatsApp deal was publicly announced.

There's certainly good reason for BlackBerry investors to be encouraged by Facebook's recent move. In many ways, Facebook's actions last week serve as the ultimate endorsement to the idea that BlackBerry's own BBM mobile messaging service is also highly valuable in its own right. To be sure, plenty of parallels exists between BlackBerry's BBM and Facebook's shiny new toy WhatsApp. However, the two also have several key differences between them that make WhatsApp more valuable than BBM, perhaps most notably BlackBerry's 85 million BBM users pale into comparison to WhatsApps 450 million and counting MAUs.

In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner examine some of the key similarities and differences between BlackBerry's BBM and Facebook's WhatsApp and cautions investors to avoid taking the comparisons between the two too far as well.

BlackBerry and Facebook both fear this one mobile powerhouse
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Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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