Tech gossip roundup

After Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, the two teams seemed to have difficulty merging culturally, with the founders of WhatsApp expressing concerns over the potential commercial applications of their platform versus the maintenance of user privacy. Even more telling in the wake of the founders’ public split with Facebook is that the campus itself became a place of tensions between the two teams. According to WSJ,

Some Facebook staffers considered the WhatsApp unit a mystery and sometimes poked fun at it. After WhatsApp employees hung up posters over the walls instructing hallway passersby to “please keep noise to a minimum,” some Facebook employees mocked them with chants of “Welcome to WhatsApp—Shut up!”

A sign in WhatsApp’s offices at Facebook headquarters. Some Facebook employees mocked WhatsApp with chants of ‘Welcome to WhatsApp—Shut up!’

Why it’s hot

Charged contributor Owen Williams has the tl;dr on this situation

Both WhatsApp founders have now left the company, and Facebook is getting what it’s always wanted: a way to monetize the product with its 400 million active ‘Status’ users…

Read the story about WhatsApp, and how it attempts to paint the founders as exasperated by losing a billion over resigning early, then consider the naiveté of selling your company to a advertising giant and being surprised when it wants you to monetize it with ads.

A surprise came early this week for the tech world and even employees of GitHub, with the news that the code repository had been sold to Microsoft. Few people even seemed to know that the company was up for sale, but it seems that the company that brought us both stable software for decades, as well as ironic icons like Clippy, narrowly beat out Google, Atlassian, Amazon, and Tencent for the chance to print their own Octocat stickers.

Williams notes in this week’s Charged:

it was almost a fire-sale price, in which no cash directly changed hands. The company was losing a lot of money, and it appears it decided pursuing acquisition actively was a better idea than trying to IPO.

While most people are excited about Microsoft’s track record for supporting software for decades, a few couldn’t resist the temptation to joke about the behemoth’s occasionally less-than-stellar product design track record.

Why it’s hot

Much of the code that powers what we know as the internet lives in GitHub, so the future of the platform is a hot topic for many developers, designers, and product teams. It seems that Microsoft has every intention of maintaining the service, but the future is relatively unknown at this point.