updated 04:27 pm EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Facebook offered three Instagrams for Snapchat
Popular image sharing app Snapchat reportedly turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Sources familiar with the matter claim that the world's largest social network offered three times the price it paid when acquiring Instagram for Snapchat, which allows users to send picture messages that expire soon after they are viewed. Those same sources say that the $3 billion offer was not Facebook's first attempt to court the image sharing service.
Earlier this year, Facebook reportedly offered to buy Snapchat for $1 billion, an offer Snapchat spurned. Representatives from the social network returned to Snapchat in recent weeks, offering $3 billion or more in cash, and Snapchat rejected that offer as well.
Snapchat raised $60 million in funding from investors in June, and the company was valued at about $800 million at the time. The Journal notes that some among those investors have attempted to raise additional rounds of funding, which could have seen the company valued at roughly $4 billion.
That valuation is likely influenced by the success of Twitter's initial public offering. While Twitter has yet to generate a profit, the microblogging service was valued at roughly $45 billion after its IPO last week. Snapchat has not generated any revenue, but its popularity among teenagers and young adults gives investors confidence.
Facebook, meanwhile, is said to be experiencing a troubling decline in engagement among just that demographic. While the company did $2 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter, Facebook executives noted that teenage daily user numbers are dropping.
"We did see a decrease in daily users, partly among younger teens," noted Facebook CFO David Ebersman. Additional surveys have backed up Ebersman's statement, finding that the number of teenagers who had "liked" a post on Facebook fell dramatically from the first quarter of 2013 to the third.
Facebook has been diligent in snapping up services that could either augment or threaten its own offerings. The Instagram acquisition is widely believed to have been in that spirit, as was the addition of short video capture to Instagram, a move aimed at countering the increasingly popular, Twitter-owned Vine app.