Facebook is buying WhatsApp messaging service for $16 billion, according to a Form 8K filed with the SEC and subsequent announcements by both Facebook and WhatsApp. Facebook will pay $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock for the messaging company. An additional $3 billion in restricted stock units will be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees. These shares will vest over four years after the close of the deal. In its announcement of the acquisition, Facebook outlined the financial details, which will see a total of $19 billion transferring hands as part of the deal. Facebook is looking to expand its reach with the WhatsApp purchase, noting that Facebook and WhatsApp have a shared vision “to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. ”
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and now CEO Jan Koum. The service has a user base of over 450 million people and is growing by one million new registered users each day. It’s popular among its users, with almost 70% of registered customers logging in to use the service each day. Details on the future status of the WhatsApp service and its iOS app were not disclosed in the Facebook announcement, but WhatsApp founder Jan Koum clarified that nothing will change for its users.
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.
The WhatsApp service offers unlimited messaging for a nominal 99-cents per year, (after the first year, which is free). You can download the free WhatsApp client from the iOS App Store. Do you use WhatsApp? What do you think of the service and its acquisition?