On February 19, 2014, Facebook officially purchased the popular messaging service WhatsApp for an agreed $19 billion in cash and stock. WhatsApp is a mobile-messaging app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. It has grown exponentially over the past few years since it’s launch. Check out this graph via The Verge:
Over 450 million people use WhatsApp each month with 70 percent of those users active on a given day. [source]
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a press release that “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable…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.”
This is a big move for Facebook in it’s attempt to remain relevant as more more and more people consume social media on their mobile devices rather than on desktop computers. It also recently revamped it’s mobile app to become more accessible to those on-the-go.
It is still unclear exactly how Facebook will use this acquisition to add value back into itself but we look forward to seeing how that will play out.