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Onavo: Is app data consumption still an issue these days?


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App data consumption was important in the past, but now with FB new acquisition, it becomes a question to re-visit:

This week, Facebook announced that it has decided to acquire Onavo, a mobile data saving company.
Unlike their predecessors at acquired Israeli companies Snaptu and, Onavo employees would now become Facebook’s and keep their jobs.
Facebook would use this acquisition as an entry gate for establishing its own office in Israel.

Few facts about Onavo

Onavo was founded in 2010 and has two parts to its business:
Consumer-facing apps to help optimize device and app performance.
Data compression and battery life on iOS and Android devices, using their proprietary data compression technology; and an analytics business for mobile publishers to chart how well its own apps are performing, and to chart that against apps of its competitors (a relatively new business, built upon their core data compression business).

Is data consumption still an issue?

Remember the days that we had limited data packages and had to constantly worry about how much data we have left for the month?
Then came along the all-you-can-eat data packages and we all started to consume content on the mobile without thinking twice, which caused capacity issues for network operators.
Nowadays, there are mixed models out there.. many operators went back to limited data packages (but the packages are usually so big that virtually, you are in an unlimited plan) and some decided to stick to the all-you-can-eat model.

So… why the hell should FB care about App data consumption ?

Why not just let the operators worry about that?

Aha, remember something about FB’s (relatively) new mission of connecting the world ( project)?
With a special emphasis on the third world and emerging markets? Now…- there, data may still be an issue –
and this means that FB really means business and going full steam ahead with this project..

But then again, Onavo can currently do its magic for smartphones only, which are not the most common devices in these parts of the world.

The questions that come to mind when thinking about this acquisition –

  • Can Onavo replicate their magic to feature phones, to help FB fulfill its vision of connecting the world?
  • Is data compression still an issue justifying FB to spend $200 million on buying Onavo?
  • Will this acquisition prove to be a smart move for both sides or is it the death sentence of a vibrant company that will now become another line in  the description of the FB overall offering?

Well…, I guess time will tell..

If  you happen to have an opinion on that matter, please comment below.

Until next time,


Tsipi Joseph
Tsipi is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Over 10 years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry: Director of Marketing at Telmap, Comverse and marketing professional development director at the American Association of National Advertisers.
Tsipi Joseph
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