is a popular cross-platform mobile messaging app, and it now belongs to Mark Zuckerberg
and Co., although the acquisition is leaving Facebook
quite a bit lighter in the wallet; the WhatsApp deal is for $19 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and another $3 billion in restricted stock units that will go to WhatsApp personnel.
WhatsApp has some 450 million users each month with 70% of those individuals active at any given time while another million join the ranks daily. A press release claims that the volume of messages WhatsApp processes is “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume”.
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Zuckerberg in a statement. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum added, “WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide.”
WhatsApp will enjoy a similar setup to Instagram, which is to say that it will operate to some extent on its own (for instance, WhatsApp will be staying at its current Mountain View headquarters), relying on the savvy and expertise that made the service what it is while also benefitting from Facebook’s substantial resources.
WhatsApp will augment Facebook’s chat and messaging services by adding a layer that allows users to communicate with your contacts and small groups of people.