In a move to dominate messaging on phones and the Web, Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. The deal is Facebook’s largest acquisition to date, and it has every one asking why that much for a five-year old company. WhatsApp provides free service for the first year and it costs a dollar annually after that, and the app is ads free. One could say conclude that being relevant in the social media scene is where Facebook gets its drive. It was only a matter of time as we all saw this coming, even after the failed attempt acquire SnapChat, they have been looking for another of these teen-centric services. Even Facebook admitted that teens spend less time on its services, so buying WhatsApp gives it instant access to a new and relatively large group of youngsters who are actively messaging each other on a daily basis.
According to Facebook, WhatsApp now spans 450 million monthly users, and about 70 percent of those are active on any given day. WhatsApp has a huge international base, and is reported as the most used app in India, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa by mobile marketing and research firm Jana. Facebook confirmed in a recent press release that, it will continue to operate WhatsApp as a largely standalone service, under the existing WhatsApp name just like it did to Instagram. All we have to do is wait and see what smart move Mark Zuckerberg will incorporate to WhatsApp, as the newly acquired company continues on its path to connect 1 billion people. Facebook said it will pay WhatsApp $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock. WhatsApp’s founders and staff will be eligible for another $3 billion in stock grants to be paid out if they remain employed by Facebook for four years. Koum will also join Facebook’s board of directors.