Instant Messaging mobile app, Whatsapp has been bought by Facebook for a record $19 billion.

Social networking giant, Facebook Inc in a surprising move, announced its intentions to buy the popular instant messaging service, Whatsapp for a reported $19 billion. It was confirmed as a “definitive agreement” by a report released by Facebook on February 19.

The acquisition is to be completed following the payment of $4 billion in cash and an amount of about $15 billion in stocks and shares in total.

The purchase is the largest of its kind for Facebook following its prior attainment of the widely popular pictorial social media platform Instagram for $1 billion.

Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, stated, “Whatsapp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”

With more than 450 million estimated users worldwide, Whatsapp has established itself as an eminent front runner in the competitive instant messaging market. As a technology that uses wireless internet to enable users to send and receive real time messages in their phones by avoiding cellular message costs, the application has rapidly seen a growth in popularity and usage in youth as well as in many parts of the world and hence is viewed as a worthwhile acquisition by Facebook looking to expand its reach. It also indicates Facebook’s vision of establishing greater involvement of the public within its network of mobile social platforms, something all social media organisations have been recently locked in stiff competition for.

Jan Koum, the founder and CEO of Whatsapp has hailed the merger by stating, “We are excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

The report released by Facebook stated that Jan Kaoum will join Facebook’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Whatsapp as a company will reportedly “continue to operate independently and retain its brand”.

Dipika Rangasami, Editor (Business)


Image Courtesy: Facebook, Released into the public domain | Wiki Commons.