Social networking company is to buy the popular mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $16 billion (€11.64bn) in cash and stock. Facebook said it would pay $4 billion (€2.91bn) in cash and about $12 billion (€8.73bn) in stock.
A cross-platform mobile messaging service for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia, WhatsApp acts as "a personal real-time messaging network allowing millions of people around the world to stay connected with their friends and family." With more than 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users the app which is free to install, charging a nominal fee once a year thereafter has enjoyed massive popularity since its launch.
In 2013 its users sent 18 billion messages and received 36 billion in return. One of the most attractive features for many is that WhatsApp has never had ads. According to Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder and CEO, this will not change. Speaking on the deal in a note to users he said: "Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing."
In a statement Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said that “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people.” According to Facebook, "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."
Facebook haven’t yet commented on whether there will be significant changes to the app but the deal will be important for Facebook admist reports that its popularity is declining. Facebook reportedly unsuccessfully sought to acquire another hot messaging firm, Snapchat, for $3 billion (€2.18bn) last year.