Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion

By , Feb 19, 2014

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Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has reached a deal to acquire WhatsApp, the makers of the popular cross-platform messaging app, for a staggering $16 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares.

The social network says that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition, but claims the deal with WhatsApp—who has nearly 500 million users—”accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.”

From the press release:

“Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp’s shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably. The combination will help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies. 

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

The company also provided some WhatsApp growth stats:

  • Over 450 million people using the service each month;
  • 70% of those people active on a given day;
  • Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume; and
  • Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day.

Additionally, Facebook says that it will be paying WhatsApp a $1 billion break-up fee if the acquisition some how falls through, and it will be hosting a conference call at 3PM PST today to discuss further details. You can listen in on that call by clicking here.

Admittedly, $16 billion (potentially $19 billion) sounds like a crazy amount for a messaging app—especially compared to the $3 billion that Facebook reportedly offered Snapchat last year. But not many services boast an active user base of half-a-billion.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. If you want to see what WhatsApp is all about, you can find it in the App Store here.

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  • Rowan09

    Wow that’s a big move.

    • ArtemisX2

      ARGHHHHHH! Now I have to quit whatsapp. &@£#%. There goes whatsapp’s no ad policy. Facebook will destroy this app for sure. Time to look for alts.

      • http://www.mixcloud.com/DJ_Daff/ daff

        time for viber :(

      • john

        use wechat. it is great!

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Tomorrows Headline:

    “Facebook shuts down Whatsapp, App pulled from AppStore”

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      No. Not gonna happen

      • Taf Khan

        Very true, they can’t allow everyone to switch to another messaging app.

      • BozzyB

        No but they can put on the blue/white color scheme, take your phone number and import your 500+ contacts from facebook. So you will be forced to switch the messenger without even knowing :)

    • Virus

      Tomorrows Headline:

      “WhatsApp renamed to Facebook Messager”

      • Taf Khan

        Facebook message app already exists..

      • on3simpleclick

        Though, I wouldn’t put it past Facebook to integrate all of WhatsApp’s users into Facebook Messenger. Hell, maybe even force linking of Facebook accounts or signups if you don’t have one yet.

      • Jonathan

        nah.

    • Tom

      After spending billions they’re just gonna shut down it. I doubt that. I think its not far away that we see ads on whatsapp.

    • http://173.58.214.169/ That’s what Siri said!!!

      At least it’s not Google.

  • Emilio Ayala

    oh no! not WA! :’(

  • asdfasdf

    NOOO!!

  • Sokrates

    This is CRAZY.

  • ::/DeltaStylez::

    Facebook is takin’ over everything, just like Google..

    • Virus

      Yep and will ruin everything they touch just like Google

      • http://www.bearsstillsuck.com/ Simon

        Maybe besides the Chromecast that I recently purchased and love. Once more apps now sign on it’ll be just as valuable as a jailbroken ATV2. I wish some more Cydia developers would start making tweaks for it. Movie Box would be perfect or XBMC (which I’ve heard is in the works).

  • Virus

    About 13 billion dollars too much

  • Taf Khan

    Facebook is trying to take over the world! Whatsnext???

    Big money it is for sure..

  • Marcus

    The moment I saw this just a few minutes ago I immediately called my Dad (businessman) and told him about this. His response to me was, “You should make an app like this and make a couple billion for us.”

    Inspiration :D

    • Kurt

      …and for us

  • Arthur Geron

    Please no. Now they are going to store all my whatsapp chats into their database, and start suggest me stuff based on the people I talk to or the things I say. Argh

    • pegger1

      Why, is that what they do with Facebook messenger?

      • Arthur Geron

        Basically, they store all your photos, chats, posts, etc. On their database, even if you delete them they keep them there. All the ads on Facebook, even the posts they show on your timeline are based on what Facebook thinks you like or not, if you notice, not everything your friends posts on their timeline shows up for you, Facebook carefully select everything you see on their website.

      • pegger1

        I’m glad they do that. I’d rather have a meaningful ad, than one that totally doesn’t apply to me.
        But they don’t do it based off of private conversations. They don’t for FB messenger so why would they for whatsapp. They bought Instagram and that didn’t change…yet

    • Noah Mospan

      I’d be getting pretty weird ads…

  • Gabriel

    Brace yourselves…

  • Bo Kersten

    Is Facebook now going to make you pay so much a month for Whatsapp like they always do with everything???!!!

    • Marcus

      What Facebook services make you pay a monthly fee?

      • Bo Kersten

        Wasnt that FB’s plan, to make people pay for certain things? Correct me if im not right.

      • Marcus

        It wasn’t ever there plan. On there website login page it says Facebook will be free and always will be free.

      • Bo Kersten

        ok, must have been seeing stuff then.

      • Bo Kersten

        I still dont agree that FB is going to buy Whatsapp.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Really? It’s not just on iDB, it’s all over the internet (http://bit ly/1crvWV0) and you still deny it? Guess only if your hear it from Zuckerberg’s mouth would you believe it.

      • Bo Kersten

        Cant you read, i said i dont agree that FB is going to buy Whatsapp. Thats an opinion not denial!

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Uhm, by disagreeing, you imply that you don’t think it’s true/correct. Based on conventional logic, that’s the definition of denial:

        “The action of declaring something to be untrue.”

        Or you also don’t agree with the conventional definition of denial?

      • Marcus

        I don’t agree with it either. Facebook is just always buying out competition. One company that they can’t buy though is Twitter.

      • tstsr6

        You never know.. Twitter are making a loss at the moment from what I hear… Next major headline ‘Facebook buys twitter’ may not seem so crazy

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        I wouldn’t mind that, unless they add a stupid policy to use real names/personal info…

      • tstsr6

        Have they done that with any other previous acquisitions?

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Not that I know of, but the only service I ever used from them was the main facebook itself. Last time I checked, they had a real name policy like Google+.

      • tstsr6

        Just heard on BBC news that FB say they won’t add any ads or integrate it with FB

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Lol, what else were you expecting them to say? These are capitalist; they’re in no way out to donate free cash to individuals you know.

        They’ll keep it neat until it stops making head lines, then boom, their policy changes in the background and you automatically agree to it by your continued use of the product…there may be no ads in WhatsApp, but your conversations and personal info are still being mined; that’s a must for ads OR for the NSA.

      • tstsr6

        True but the only real personal info stored on whatsapp would be your phone number. Facebook most likely already have this from your Facebook account.

        The NSA would have access to your conversations regardless of whether or not Facebook owned it.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Uhm, your contacts (you probably gave WhatsApp access to your address book), your conversations (what you use whatsapp for), and your profile (how people recognize you on WhatsApp).

        The NSA may have access already to conversations, but making it easier for them is in no way welcome…

      • Marcus

        Twitter is booming right now. There stock is usually up and they are making a load of money.

      • tstsr6

        I’m sure I read twitter’s stock price plummeted a week ago

      • mauszx

        No they don’t make money, since they have little to no ads (just once in a while there is a TT that is paid to twitter to be there)

  • Omar Amer

    No! Maybe facebook will start putting ads on whatsapp just like they did in instagram :S They should not buy whatsapp

    • on3simpleclick

      I’m yet to see an Ad on my Instagram feed though

    • Marcus

      I’ve only seen one ad on my Instagram feed. If your having a problem seeing one advertisement you need to go to therapy.

  • Jason Baroni

    NOOO

  • Jorge Luis Marrero Santos

    :/ i lov WhatsApp, another bad movement..

  • galdamita

    Brand new: Whatafacebook messenger!! Includes advertising and no matter
    what if you paid or not for the original app.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    More personal information for Facebook to steal

  • jack

    RIP Whatsapp

  • Robert Goldberg

    16 BILLION? omfg…

    • tstsr6

      19bill if you count the 3 billion in restricted stock units

  • Valinor

    I’ll be switching to viber soon now that thats been taken over by the japanese.

  • Abubaker

    I stopped using Whatsapp in January – wastes too much time – I feel so free
    Join me #FreeFromWhatsapp

    • Abdl

      Totally agree!!

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    See, this what I love about competition; when one ship wrecks, there’s always another to jump to. Now my transition to BBM is a must. *Uninstalls WhatsApp*

    • felixtaf

      Am almost on the same boat. But I will take a chance. The day I see a banner ad in whatsapp will be my last day with it!

      • tstsr6

        What’s app say they would never put ads in which is why they started the subscription system – if that stays then there would be no reason to put the ads in given that it boasts over 1million new registrations per day

      • felixtaf

        But now its bought-out by facebook. So, whatever Whatsapp creators said before will still be valid?

      • tstsr6

        Hopefully, as whatsapp’s creator is now member of facebook’s board
        Edit: according to BBC news fb say they will keep it as is – no changes to ads or integration with FB

    • simpledisaster

      This is indeed the best time to switch. Now “secure” messaging apps can have a serious chance, since Facebook won’t handle your data better in the future..

  • felixtaf

    I will be happy, if they jus integrate contacts in whatsapp (Jus like MS did with skype). And plz dont make it mandatory to use Facebook ID on Whatsapp!!!!

    • Koen V

      This is also kinda my fear, that Facebook(Messenger?) and WhatsApp will somehow merge. I really hate Facebook and it’s separate Messenger so much. But I love WhatsApp… I hope they don’t take this from us

  • Jeremy

    Facebook is dead. Why the hell do they even keep trying?

  • Anmol Malhotra

    This means : More frequent updates on iOS??

  • 5ingularity

    First i read, 16 million, i’m like, oh, good move. Then i read it again…16 BILLION?….Thats a heck of a lot of money, keep in mind that Lenovo only bought Motorola for 3billion… where as facebook bought an app.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      Lol, it’s really amazing how an app could be much valuable than a a company. BlackBerry isn’t even selling for a quarter of that…

  • firerock

    Wow unexpected

  • Grung

    Please, please, PLEASE Whatsapp for iPod Touch!

  • WolfgangHoltz

    Apple has iMessages and later integrate Facebook into its iOS.
    Now Facebook buys WhatsApp and probably will merge it with Facebook Messenger.
    Let the messages war begin ….

    • Jason Baroni

      Viber was also bought a few days ago

      • WolfgangHoltz

        Yea I read that too. I wonder if the phone company’s will just quiet watch their SMS traffic and also voice slowly fade away.
        Hopefully all this benefit us the customers. I don’t thrust Facebook so much so hopefully they let WhatsApp be a separate company.

      • Jason Baroni

        I stand for this independecy on WhatsApp. Facebook integretion is just enough, because in my POV WhatsApp is just perfect. It could be nice if Apple integrate WhatsApp on iOS. That’s what they can do but a service integrating all brands, what won’t happen.

  • mav3rick

    This is beyond ridiculous. The amount is easily the debt of a small country. And yet, a Co behind a website doing only to track million’s life timelines spending all this on a messaging app?!? This is or a big boys affair: shareholders, pension funds big money, or just a glimpse of what your digital life and tracks left online its worth for.

    The execs at WhatsApp are jumping out of their skins. Some becoming overnight irrational rich, even their assistants starting picking the color of their Ferrari’s.

    The story might went like this:
    “- The weird geek is calling again to buy us.”
    “- Last year Google showed us 1 bln. Ask for something ridiculous, like 15, 16…”
    “- Went for 19. Guess what!!”

    • gittlopctbi

      I agree. A few tech companies are run by boys in adult bodies that haven’t grown up yet and just because they have the money in the company’s coffers, they figure, “Why the heck not?” They’re idiots. Zuckerberg is one of them. Paying that much is bragging rights for him and really has nothing to do with the worth of the company. 16B for a one app company is not just beyond ridiculous, it is obscene. I’m not one to tell others how to live or how to spend their money, but this seems to me like over the top wasteful.

  • Guest

    Nothing to do here… Time to move on to Mars.!! -.-

  • H5ire

    Nothing to do here… Time to move on to Mars.!! ._.

  • fasih

    ‘Telegram’ App will be better Alt…

  • Donovan

    Aaaaaaand how are they gonna make their money back? Right, ads and selling your info. Time for BBM

  • Lionelle

    So they bought Whatsapp for $16 Billion… Idiots, they could have just downloaded it for free! ;)

  • http://www.officialimeiunlock.com/ Nicolas Anderson

    Will facebook buy idownloadblog?

  • Umut Bilgiç

    Ads and facebook integration.. That is all I can see and hopefully I am wrong.. JUST PLEASE

  • NaSty

    Its all gonna be downhill from here -_-

  • john

    You guys should try wechat. it is great

  • Chris Rawlings

    And WhatsApp is not working now.. Way to go Facebook.