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Facebook to acquire WhatsApp messenger for $19 billion

Facebook has announced that it’s acquiring the fastest growing mobile messenger app WhatsApp in a $19 billion deal, including $4 billion in cash, 183,865,778 shares worth $12 billion and 45,966,444 RSUs (restricted stock units) worth $3 billion to founders and employees, to be precise.

whatsapp-facebook-dealThe world’s largest social network has announced the acquisition in a Form 8-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The real deal depicted as worth $16 billion, where the additional $3 billion of RSUs will vest over 4 years after the completing the acquisition.

Facebok CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg also posted the acquisition news in his official page, where he said “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp,” and revealed that the entire WhataApp team will be joining Facebook and revealed some important statistics of the popular messenger application.

WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users, where 70 percent of those users are daily active users. In December 2013, WhatsApp crossed the 400 million daily active users. The messenger service is bringing in around 1 million new users per day. Globally, total WhatsApp users are sending 19 billion messages and receiving 34 billion messages per day, which is as close to the huge volume of normal text messages being sent and received worldwide.

There are more than 600 million photos, over 200 million voice messages and 100 million video messages are being uploaded to WhatsApp per day and these numbers grown over 100% in year-on-year basis.

The CEO and founder of 5-year old WhatsApp Jan Koum will be joining Facebook’s board of directors. Facebook was desperate to move into the mobile platform, where it reportedly tried to acquire the Snapchat messenger for $3 billion, which was later turned down by the messenger. It also made several changes to the site structures and mobile applications to increase the engagement and lure in more mobile users. Instagram was one of the acquisition made to enter the mobile world and the WhatsApp deal is the biggest one.

So, the world is moving from desktop based social networks to mobile messengers. The recent acquisition of Viber messenger for $900 by Japan’s e-commerce company Rakuten also suggests the same. Now, Facebook has a product to show the world that the teens are still with them.

[ Source: Press release, WhatsApp blog ]

About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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