Largest social media in the world, Facebook, announced the purchase of the mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, on Wednesday, 19th February,2014, in a $19bn deal. This is the social media company’s biggest acquisition yet. Facebook’s successful bid comes after Google reportedly made a $1bn offer for the company last year.
The founder of Facebook,Mark Zuckerberg, described WhatsApp as an “incredibly valuable” service that was well on its way to connecting 1 billion people around the world.
WhatsApp has more than 400m users around the world and claims it is adding more than 1 million new registered users a day. It allows unlimited free text-messaging and picture sending between users and is among the world’s most downloaded mobile apps.
Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say:
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable, I’ve known Jan (Koum founder and CEO) for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
Founder and CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, had this to say:
“WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”
Facebook is making the purchase in a mix of cash and stock. WhatsApp will receive $12bn in Facebook shares $4bn in cash and an additional $3bn in restricted shares that will be paid out to executives at a later date. The company will operate as an autonomous unit.
It is believed WhatsApp employed fewer than 100 people. The company’s ownership structure is not known.