Fb announced earlier the acquisition of WhatsApp for the total amount of 19 billion dollars. This purchase comes out of nowhere and it might be justified seeing that there are over 450 million WhatsApp users and, basically, Facebook bought the user base which is possibly one of the most active when compared to other similar social networking platforms.
Facebook paid $ 4B in cash, $ 12B in Facebook shares and the rest of $ 3B will be paid in restricted stock units that will be given to the founders and employees of WhatsApp. Facebook estimates that the WhatsApp user base currently stands somewhere around four hundred and fifty million users worldwide and the number continues to grow, as there are reportedly over one million new users registering WhatsApp accounts on a daily basis.
WhatsApp has been launched in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum and it is now available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry OS. It is based on Mountain View, California. The company will stay in the same location, as Facebook doesn’t wish to re-locate the WhatsApp employees.
Mark Zuckerberg stated that:
WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community
Facebook already has the Messenger application which is mostly used to chat only between Facebook friends, while WhatsApp provides an instant messaging platform between all save contacts and people. Zuckerberg also said that they will invest in both services independently from now without integrating one with the other.
What do you think about this announcement and where do you think that WhatsApp will now be heading? Also, do you think that the release of a Facebook and WhatsApp hybrid app is possible or, do you think that Facebook will keep them running separately?