Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $16 billion [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| February 19, 2014

WhatsApp logo

Looks like Facebook just made itself another major mobile-related purchase. The social networking company announced today that it has agreed to acquire WhatsApp, creator of the popular cross-platform mobile messaging app of the same name. Facebook will be ponying up $16 billion for WhatsApp, a figure that's made up of $4 billion in cash as well as $12 billion in Facebook stock.

Once the deal reaches completion, Facebook says that WhatsApp will be run in a manner similar to the way that Instagram operates today. That means that WhatsApp will retain its brand and headquarters and that its messaging product will remain separate from Facebook Messenger. However, the deal will give WhatsApp access to Facebook's "expertise, resources and scale."

Just as WhatsApp's purchase price indicates, this deal is pretty big for Facebook and mobile in general. WhatsApp is one of the most widely-used messaging apps around with 450 million users each month and 1 million new users joining the service every day. While Facebook says that WhatsApp will remain its own entity, this deal gives the company access to Facebook's resources and could also get the app some additional exposure. 

As with all deals like this one, Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp is subject to regulatory approval. Should the deal fail to obtain approval, Facebook will pay WhatsApp $1 billion in cash as well as another billion dollars worth of stock. Facebook's official announcement of its new purchase can be found at the link below.

Do any of you use WhatsApp?

UPDATE: Jan Koum, WhatsApp founder and CEO, has written a blog post regarding his company's acquisition by Facebook. Koum echoes Facebook by saying that WhatsApp will remain independent and that the deal will help his company to grow and have more time to improve its messaging service. The exec goes on to say that users will be able to continue to use WhatsApp just as they do now and that they won't encounter any ads while using the app. "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," Koum says.

Via Facebook, WhatsApp