This paper is aimed at examining two articles that are related to an important event in the world of online and social media. In particular, one should speak about the acquisition made by Facebook. This corporation purchased a start-up company WhatsApp at the price of almost $ 22 billion. This decision has given rise to various responses and many journalists tried to discuss the reasons for this step and its effects.
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In their articles, Jared Newman and Adam Hartung enable readers to get better insight into this decision. Overall, in both cases, the authors discuss possible reasons why Facebook could have taken this step; however, the writers try to make different arguments. In particular, Adam Hartung wants to show that this choice is fully justified from a financial viewpoint, while Jared Newman intends to explore the consequences of this decision, especially its impact on Internet users. These are the main details that should be discussed in more closely.
Overall, these articles have certain similarities that should be considered by the readers. In particular, both authors try to provide the reasons why the senior management of Facebook chose to acquire a start-up company that had not fully proven its financial sustainability: “Changing communication requirements have altered the use, and impact, of things like images, photos, charts and text. All of these have the potential impact of slowly (or not so slowly) eroding the value (which is noticeably lofty) of Facebook” (Hartung par. 5).
This company has developed an application that can substitute traditional textual messages sent by the users of mobile phones. However, it was not clear how this business would develop. In turn, both authors argue that social medial continuously evolve, and companies that operate in this sector have be very responsive to changes; otherwise they can quickly become obsolete. Newman, for instance, puts a strong emphasis on the dangers of putting all stakes on social networking and disregarding the power of applications: “Facebook is pretty safe from becoming the next MySpace or Friendster, but it can’t risk losing peoples’ attention at the hands of newer, cooler apps” (Newman par. 12).
Hartung, in his turn, reminds of the transient nature of the information transfer: “Two years ago […] WhatsApp developed a superior answer for messaging” (Hartung par. 7). So, the managers of these businesses should pay close attention to the changes in external environment. In turn, the managers of Facebook want to make sure that the company can offer the best services to users (Hartung par. 10). This task is critical for their financial performance in the future. So, one can argue that these journalists try to explain the line of reasoning that the management could follow. On the whole, this question is of great interest to various pundits because many of them feel uncertain about the true value of WhatsApp. These are the main similarities that one can single out in terms of the articles’ content and the methods of representing it to the target audience.
However, there are certain differences between the two articles. In particular, Adam Hartung wants to justify this decision from a financial viewpoint, i.e., from the perspective of the revenues that the company will obtain (Yarow par. 2). For instance, he argues that that this acquisition will help Facebook remain the leading social networking site in the world: “As long as Facebook has a very high market valuation it can make acquisitions with shares, rather than real money” (Hartung par. 13).
Moreover, the author believes that this acquisition will eventually generate revenues in the future. In contrast, Jared Newman is not so convinced that this acquisition will eventually be profitable. Instead, this author only enumerates the reasons that could have prompted Facebook to take this step. Financial evaluation of this acquisition is of little concern to him. Additionally, the writer argues that this acquisition will change social media, which, in fact, is quite expected (Collier par. 4).
In particular, the companies, which work in this field, will be able to exchange the private data of their customers: “Just think about all the stuff you talk about, the photos you send and the links you share when you’re communicating privately” (Newman par. 17).
So, it is quite possible that users will not be able to protect their confidential information (Newman par. 17). Moreover, the author states that the world of social media will change because companies like Facebook will strengthen their influence on the communication of people. The problem is that many people will simply have to use the services of this corporation. This is one of the effects that should be taken into account. To some degree, Jared Newman wants to express his concerns about this tendency because users may become strongly dependent on several companies that can control various online resources.
Furthermore, the authors want to address different audiences. For example, Adam Hartung wants to address investors. Many of them believed that the value of Facebook stocks could decline due to this acquisition. He wants to show that the shares of this company are still safe to own. This is the key point that he wants to make. In contrast, Jared Newman’s article can be of some interest to people who want to learn more about the development of social media. It seems that Jared Newman’s article is more comprehensive because the writer examines a wider range of questions. Moreover, the author openly admits that he does not have access to the necessary information. So, some of his conclusions may not be correct. In contrast, Adam Hartung does not mention that he may not know every relevant fact. These are some of the differences that can be distinguished.
It is quite remarkable that the specified differences, though being quite obvious, do not set the articles apart; instead, they add the articles a certain unique feel, at the same time keeping both of them within the boundaries of the topic. Specifically, the fact that neither of the articles addresses the negative outcomes of the problems that may possibly arise after the acquisition, such as the increased amount of liabilities, needs to be mentioned. Indeed, the financial burden of the decisions related to expansion, such as the acquisition process, traditionally follow the above-mentioned step, yet none of the articles renders the subject in question, therefore, leaving the audience blissfully unaware of this fact.
Moreover, the articles are related to each other stylistically. To be more exact, the consistent appeal to the target audience can be traced rather easily in both articles. For instance, each of the two authors addresses the reader on a regular basis by using the pronouns “you,” “yours,” etc. While the specified method is rather basic, it still helps get the message across in a rather convincing way and at the same time leave a positive impression on the reader.
In fact, the tool mentioned above is also used expensively by a range of other authors raising the same topic. For example, Martin Tillier’s recent article, which renders the same issue of Facebook’s expansion and the What’s Up concept, is a specimen of a more neutral writing style. The author refrains from addressing the reader directly and prefers to render the subject matter from a more objective viewpoint. Specifically, the author does not shy away from criticizing the weakest aspects of the expansion process, as well as the What’s Up application: “It turns out, then, that those “crazy” acquisitions weren’t so crazy after all” (Tillier par. 6).
The above-mentioned tone of the article is all the more remarkable with the 2014 criticism of the What’s Up concept in mind. At first appearing to be a major flop, the application was discussed as a major disappointment of the company and the most obvious flop made by the organization over the past few years. However, with the success, which followed the application in 2015 and the following revenue stream, which the expansion carried out by Facebook triggered, the organization was praised by most authors, as it can be seen in the article by Hartung and Newman.
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Nevertheless, when it comes to defining whether the articles in question have more details in common or the ones that set them apart, one must agree that both authors consider the same issue from basically the same viewpoints and come to a set of very similar conclusions. While neither Newman, nor Hartung state their opinion on the issue of the expansion explicitly, leaving enough wiggle room in case the current policy of Facebook turns out to be not as successful as it may look at present.
Finally, as far as the objectivity of the articles in question is concerned, it seems that both Newman and Hartung share the same amount of subjective opinion in their articles. While being rather neutral on the surface, the articles in question have a very unique way of shaping the reader’s perception of the concept of acquisitions as a part of Facebook’s strategy. To be more exact, both articles tend to manipulate the reader’s attention by exposing the facts, which point at the significance of the strategy adopted by the company. Tillier’s article does not display the level of objectivity that can be characterized as moderate, yet the author obviously locates both the benefits and the evident threats of the policy, thus, making it clear that new acquisitions mean new liabilities.
On the whole, this comparison shows that journalists can examine the same event from different perspectives. As a rule, their rhetoric will depend on the type of audience that they want to address. As it has been said before, Adam Hartung’s article is intended for investors, while Jared Newman writes for diverse audiences. This is why their arguments differ significantly. This event that has been described may eventually have implications for various people such as investors and Internet users. In turn, the chosen articles can help people gain a better about its underlying causes and possible consequences. These sources can give readers better insight into the main trends that will affect social media in the near future. Deep and displaying a good grasp of the material, though lacking in objectivity, the articles under analysis can be deemed as fairly similar.
Collier, Samantha. “WhatsApp to Change Social Media Marketing?” Practical E-Commerce. 2015. Web.
Hartung, Adam. “Three Smart Lessons from Facebook’s Purchase of WhatsApp.” Forbes. 2014. Web.
Newman, Jared. “Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition Explained.” Times. 2014. Web.
Tillier, Martin. “Facebook (FB)’s “Crazy” Acquisitions Don’t Look So Crazy Now.” Nasdaq. 2015. Web.
Yarow, Jay. “WhatsApp, Facebook’s $22 Billion Acquisition, Did $10.2 Million in Revenue Last Year.” Business Insider. 2014. Web.