For the Telegram App, Facebook Inc. Just Changed Everything

Huge growth suggests WhatsApp users may be fleeing to the Telegram app, raising questions about Facebook's ability to profit from messaging.

Mar 28, 2014 at 5:00PM

Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) purchase of WhatsApp may be driving millions to leave the messaging platform for a competitor known as Telegram. Fool contributor Tim Beyers examines the numbers in the following video.

According to reporting by TechCrunch, the Telegram app has seen daily active users soar from as little as 100,000 in October to more than 15 million as of this writing. On a monthly basis, Telegram serves 35 million active users who have sent some 8 billion messages over the last 30 days alone.

WhatsApp has better numbers, of course: 19 billion messages and 600 million photos served each day. And yet Telegram's dramatic gain raises questions about the Facebook deal. Are former WhatsApp users turning to Telegram now that Facebook owns the platform? And if so, what does that mean for just-acquired Oculus?

Tim says it's an important question for Facebook, which is committing billions in shareholder capital to expand its social empire. Fleeing users won't help boost the overall value of the ecosystem, which could depress the value of the entire franchise and the stock price. Yet that seems unlikely, Tim says. Just look at Instagram, which now serves more than 200 million monthly active users -- up sixfold since its April 2012 acquisition by Facebook. The social medial juggernaut has found ways to squeeze value from high-profile deals.

Can it do so again? You tell us. Leave a comment below to let us know how you see Facebook adding value to WhatsApp and Oculus. Or, if you;ve switched  to the Telegram app, let us know that, too.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Facebook, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Facebook, and Netflix. 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.

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