Facebook has announced today that it will be acquiring the popular social messaging app WhatsApp in a deal worth $16 billion.
The 16 billion deal will include 183,865,778 shares of Facebook valued at 12 billion and $4 billion in cash. Facebook also agreed to provide an additional 45,966,444 shares worth $3 billion in restricted stock units to the WhatsApp founder's and employees.
In a post on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg announced the news:
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently but within Facebook in Mountain View. WhatsApp is growing at such a rapid pace that it now has over 450 million people using the service each month. The number of messages sent on WhatsApp is nearly close to the number of texts sent on telecom networks. More than $1 million users join WhatsApp every day.
The growth of WhatsApp in the first 4 years or so is more than thrice what Facebook achieved.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said:
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.
WhatsApp was launched in 2009 and now after 5 years it has grown into a leading social messaging app. Who would have thought that it would taste so much of success. Facebook on the other hand will be trying to use the acquisition to strengthen their ability to connect people. Facebook was seeing a decline in the recent year in the amount of users active on its social network.