$16 billion for a messaging service? Facebook says, "Sure, why not?"

So what’s worth more than Motorola Mobility, Nokia’s Devices and Services Division, and Nest Labs combined? Well, the answer is apparently WhatsApp. Facebook just announced this afternoon that it is acquiring the extremely popular cross-platform messaging service for a whopping $16 billion ($4 billion cash, $12 billion stock).
To put that figure in perspective, Facebook paid a “measly” $1B for Instagram in 2012.
Facebook is obviously looking to increase its presence in the mobile messaging space, and WhatsApp’s numbers are definitely staggering. The company has over 450 million active users each month, and roughly 70 percent of those users are on WhatsApp daily. More importantly WhatsApp is adding 1 million new users each day.
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "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."

WhatsApp iOS app
For those of you thinking that being gobbled up by a larger company will mean the end of WhatsApp as we know it, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum took to his blog to ease the fears of users:
Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.
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. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.
Facebook maintains that both its existing Messenger app and WhatsApp will continue to operate as separate applications for the foreseeable future.

Sources: Facebook [1], [2], WhatsApp, Forbes

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