After rumours of Facebook acquiring popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp, flying around for months now, the social networking company has finally bitten the bullet.
Facebook on Wednesday, announced that it will acquire the popular cross-platform mobile messaging company, WhatsApp for $19 billion.
In a filing to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Facebook announced the acquisition.
"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," the filing stated.
"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 announced that WhatsApp's cofounder and CEO Jan Koum would join Facebook's board of directors.
“WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world,” Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said of the acquisition.
In a separate blog post on the WhatsApp site, Koum said that the partnership with Facebook "will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand".
"WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication," he said.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, Jan Koum and Brian Acton. The mobile messaging service claims to have over 450 million monthly registered users -- a larger user base than social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn -- and claims to deliver 10 billion messages each day.
While Facebook has tried to incorporate its own messaging service as part of its mobile experience, its acquisition of WhatsApp will help cement its position as leader in mobile messaging.
Facebook last April paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram and its acquisition of WhatsApp is its largest till date.
Published Date: Feb 20, 2014 11:06 am | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2014 11:06 am