Facebook announced on Wednesday that it is buying WhatsApp and its messaging service for $16 billion. The social network will pay a total of $19 billion including $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook stock shares and $3 billion in restricted stock units, which will be given to WhatsApp’s founders and its 50 employees. The WhatsApp messaging service is popular in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which is one of the reasons behind the acquisition. Facebook is looking to expand its reach beyond the US with this purchase.
“The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. “
As part of the acquisition, WhatsApp will come under the Facebook umbrella, but will still operate as an independent company. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum confirmed in a post on the company’s blog that nothing will change for its users.
Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible.
Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.
WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who now serves as the CEO. The service has a user base of over 450 million people and is growing by one million new registered users each day. Almost 70% of registered customers login to use the service and send more than 27 billion messages each day. Do you use WhatsApp? What do you think of this acquisition?