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Facebook to purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion

By Kyle Johnson,

Facebook announced on Wednesday that the company was snapping up the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.

The social media company will pay out $16 billion through Facebook stock and $4 billion in cash, reports The Wall Street Journal. The remaining $3 billion with be paid out through restricted stock units for employees.

Despite the acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp will remain separate and keep its brand, but CEO and co-founder Jan Koum will become a Facebook board member.

According to The New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement, "WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable."

He also added that he was "excited" to work with Koum.

WhatsApp claims to have over 450 million monthly users, with nearly 70 percent using the service on a daily basis. The app allows users, for free, to send text messages to each other using the Internet, instead of through a wireless carrier's service.

The WSJ notes in a December interview with Koum, the co-founder had said the company was doing well because of its "focus on messaging." He added, "we want to get out of the way. We want to let people have a conversation."

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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