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Why BlackBerry's BBM Isn't the Next WhatsApp

By Andrew Tonner – Feb 27, 2014 at 10:00PM

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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.

Facebook (META 0.62%) 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 (BB 0.83%).

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.

Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Facebook. 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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