Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion
Facebook will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in a landmark deal that places the world’s largest social network closer to the heart of mobile communications and may bring younger users into the fold.
The transaction involves $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock and $3 billion in restricted stock that vests over several years. The WhatsApp deal is worth more than Facebook rose in its own IPO and underscores the social network’s determination to win the market for messaging.
[success]WhatsApp is founded by a Ukrainian immigrant who dropped out of college, Jan Koum, and a Stanford alumnus, Brian Acton, WhatsApp is a Silicon Valley startup fairy tale, rocketing to 450 million users in five years and adding another million daily.[/success]
[blockquote cite=”Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg”]
No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently, and promised to continue its policy of no advertising.
The deal provides Facebook entree to new users, including teens who eschew the mainstream social networks but prefer WhatsApp and rivals, which have exploded in size as private messaging takes off.
Zuckerberg and Koum on the conference call did not say how the company would make money beyond a $1 annual fee, which is not charged for the first year. How the service will pay for itself is not yet clear.