Facebook is buying WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging services in the world, for $19 billion in cash and stock (to be more precise, $16 billion in cash and stock, plus $3 billion more for WhatsApp employees).
That is a lot of money, eclipsing the $1 billion it paid for Instagram. The purchase of Instagram, which has around 30 million users, was considered overvalued by many at the time. WhatsApp has a reported 450 million users. Some are speculating that this is a reaction to Rakuten’s recent purchase of Viber.
According to Mark Zuckerberg:
“WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Since WhatsApp and (Facebook) Messenger serve such different and important users, we will continue investing in both.”
WhatsApp will remain a separate product, keeping its brand and service, with no unnecessary Facebook integration or ads.