Facebook today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase WhatsApp, the massively popular IM service, for $16 billion in cash and stock.
As with Instagram, the company says WhatsApp will continue to exist as an independant entity, and hopes to “accelerate Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.” On top of the acquisition fee, Facebook will be adding $3 billion in restricted stock units that will go to WhatsApp’s employees over a period of four years.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a press statement. “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community.”
WhatsApp currently has over 450 million active users. It busses over 16 million messages per day amd over 500 million images per day.
“Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible,” WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said “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.”
What do you think of this merger? Will this prompt you to use another IM service? Let us know in the comments!