Facebook To Buy WhatsApp Messenger For $16 Billion

WhatsApp is an extremely popular messaging app across multiple platforms that serves up over 10 billion messages a day. Today, Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion, and it’s official with a filing with the SEC. The purchase breaks down as $4 billion in cash, and $12 billion in Facebook stock with a potential $3 billion in employee stock payouts. Also, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum will join the Facebook board of directors.

It’s a major move by Facebook, and quite an accomplishment by WhatsApp to create a service that can be acquired for such a large sum. WhatsApp is one of the many messaging services to break the bounds of traditional carrier SMS. There are messaging services from Apple, Blackberry, Google, TextFree, WeChat, TextNow, textPlus, and even Facebook has their own. It’s unclear how exactly Facebook will integrate WhatsApp into their offerings, but Mark Zuckerberg explains the acquisition,

WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

According to WhatsApp, the company will continue to operate independently, and autonomously. It’s worth noting that Facebook acquired Instagram in April of 2012 for $1 billion, and the service has seemed to keep operating as it was before the acquisition. Facebook also says their own Facebook Messenger service will continue to operate independently as well, so again it’s unclear what Facebook has planned for their new $16 billion baby.

Whatsapp Messenger (Free, iPhone)

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