The socialnetworking site that is Facebook has announced it's buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp in a deal worth an $US19 billion, expanding its global footprint. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app that allows users to exchange text messages without having to pay carrier charges.
The deal bolsters the social network - currently populated with more than 1.2 billion members - with the 450-million strong WhatsApp, which will be operated independently.
It's Facebook's biggest acquisition and comes less than two years after Mark Zuckerberg's firm raised $16 billion in the record breaking public stock offer. The WhatsApp deal includes $US12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion cash and $3 billion in RSUs - Restricted Stock Units - for employee retention.
Facebook said via it's blog the deal that "the deal supports Facebook and WhatsApp's shared mission to bring more connectivity to the world. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. "
Unlike Facebook, WhatsApp is a slim operation, with less than 35 engineers - 1 engineer to 14 million users - it processes 50 billion messages a day, across 7 platforms. The attraction runs much deeper than popularity, WhatsApp will not only boost Facebook's international coverage, more importantly, it will add up to 350 million mobile users to Facebook's advertising offer :: Read the full article »»»»