Facebook to buy mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion

Facebook will buy Mobile Messaging App WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company's largest acquisition and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done. The world's biggest social networking company said Wednesday that it is paying $12 billion in Facebook stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp. Facebook said it is keeping WhatsApp as a separate service, just as it did with Instagram, which it bought for about $715.3 million in two years ago. WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users. In comparison, Twitter had 241 million users at the end of 2013. WhatsApp is available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia S40, Symbian, and Windows Phone (slideshow above). The app, which is free for the first year and $0.99 per year thereafter, allows users to exchange messages without eating into monthly text allotments, like BBM or iMessage.
As part of the deal, WhatsApp co-founder and chief executive officer Jan Koum will join Facebook's board, and the social network will grant an additional $3 billion worth of restricted stock units to WhatsApp's founders, including Koum. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has posted that he was excited with merging of WhatsApp with Facebook and WhatsApp will help them continuing to develop a service that people around the world for more open and connected.

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