Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion

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In a surprise development, popular instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, whose founders had insisted on not selling, has been sold out to Facebook for about $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. According to the release by Facebook, the agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

About what has changed for the user, WhatsApp says nothing has changed:

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 deal, however, will see WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum joining Facebook Board of Directors.

WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.

  1. At Times One May be Coerce to Change some Certain Decision After giving it a Second Thought…….!

  2. Everybody has a price!
    I just hope whatsapp continue operating the way it has been operating ie available on all platforms, no ads

  3. If their words were aspirin, then the water they swallowed it with cost $16 billion 😀

    The payment of $12b in Facebook stock options was smart though. If the shares tank, so does their cash.

  4. “In a surprise development” – uh, don’t think so. The rumour mill has been going around that Facebook was looking to buy WhatsApp, now it’s been confirmed. The surprise is the amount paid. Having said that, $12 million in Facebook shares was a smart move!

    “Core principles” went out the window with the buy-out. Nowadays it is the norm for a larger company to buy a smaller company occupying a similar space. My only interest is whether WhatsApp will go the way of Skype and what the buy-out will mean to users of Symbian, S40 and Asha phones in the long term.

  5. The world largest messaging app snapped up. Hmm

    With this move, would Facebook then kill off the Facebook messaging app (which has the reach of the entire humongous Facebook user base) , or somehow subsume it in the Whatsoever app (or vice versa)?

    Now, waiting for Facebook to also snap up the world’s most used browser.. Opera Mini.

    And finally, maybe a mobile device manufacturer.

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