Facebook Agrees To Buy WhatsApp For A Staggering $19 Billion

whatsapp

If you can’t beat ‘em, buy em.

That’s been Facebook’s strategy lately when it comes to third-party challengers and this afternoon the company announced its making its biggest acquisition yet, scooping up popular messaging app WhatsApp for a cool $12 billion in stock.

Facebook is also tossing in $4 billion in cash as well as $3 billion in restricted stock units bringing the total price tag to an incredible $19 billion.

The restricted stock units that vest over the next four years will be set aside for WhatsApp’s founders and employees.

Addressing concerns about changes resulting from the acquisition WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum posted the following note to 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.”

With over 450 million monthly active users, WhatsApp allows users to send text messages to other users for free without ads. The company offers the app for free, but to aid in the cost of the service users pay $0.99 every year.

  • nmkerr

    bummer. I liked whatsapp…now I have to find some other non FB sullied messaging solution.

  • digitaldumdum

    Guess it’s just me being a dumdum, but spending $19 BILLION for a messaging service and app seems like the STUPIDEST acquisition of all time. It’s even stupider than buying Facebook stock.

  • Aannddyy

    I got that app and used it for a day, can I get a billion too?

  • These Hoes Ain’t Loyal

    Have fun going bankrupt, Facebook.

  • BusterH

    @digitaldumdum:disqus WhatsApp already has more users than Twitter. Its huge outside the US, but this seems like another case of Facebook buying it’s way into being cool again like the Instagram purchase and rumors of a Snapchat buy.

  • tomrudderham

    Here’s an interesting story, in 2009 WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton was rejected by both Facebook and Twitter: http://iosguides.net/facebook-turned-whatsapp-ceo-job-2009/

  • Martin Dobson

    I’m going to ask the necessary question: Why??

    Facebook already has 1/7th of the world’s population using their services… and they already have a messaging app. Sure it’s not as powerful as WhatsApp, nor does it get near as many users but what’s stopping them from slowly turning Facebook messenger in to something like Whatsapp? Guaranteed that even with expensive developers, they would still be 18billion ahead of where they currently stand.

    As for Google fighting over them as well… I also ask Why??

    Seriously, they also have super talented developers, and they can integrate their services deeper in to Android phones or hell… make G+ worth using.

    I never really saw the need for Whatsapp anyways. It’s basically a texting service where you don’t need a phone number… but most people have Whatsapp on their phone… hmmm… Oh well… fools and their money are quickly parted.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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