Facebook acquires WhatsApp for $16 billion

WhatsApp650

Facebook may have failed in its bid to acquire popular messaging app Snapchat, but the social network announced Wednesday that it has closed a deal to buy WhatsApp for roughly $16 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, posted to his Facebook page how WhatsApp will work with Facebook:

WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts forInternet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.

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.

WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting.

WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained (and ad free, according to the company) and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors.

The deal is for roughly $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock.

Koum commented on the acquisition:

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 honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.

This is a very powerful way for Facebook to connect with users from all over the world. As Facebook points out, WhatsApp has roughly 450 million monthly active users (MAU) all over the world — 70 percent of whom are active on a given day. Roughly 1 million new users are added each day.

The WhatsApp blog confirms that nothing will change with the app:

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.

Readers: What do you think of the acquisition?

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