Facebook is buying WhatsApp for around $19 billion



Tipping the scales at nearly 1 billion users strong, WhatsApp is one of the world’s most widely used messaging apps. Apparently that also means it’s worth an exorbitant sum of money to someone like Facebook who has just agreed to buy WhatsApp for the whopping sum of $16 billion ($4 billion cash and around $12 billion in Facebook shares) and another $3 billion over time. That’s only a little more than the $3 billion in cash they reportedly offered to buy Snapchat.

As was the case with Instagram, Facebook promises the 2 companies will continue to operate separately, with WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum finding himself in a new position on Facebook’s board of directors. This move helps the social networking giant extend its reach beyond that of a simple social network, with Facebook hoping to “accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies.”

It’s too early to say what changes will be made if any, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed “sponsored text messages” will be left out of the equation.

[Facebook 1, 2]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Google I/O 2014 taking place June 24th – 26th (126 days and counting)

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  1. HOLY CRAP that’s a lot of money.

    1. WhatsApp is only worth about half a billion. Facebook is paying for the users which is worth much more.

      With that said, I’m throwing WhatsApp in the trash now after hearing this.

      1. Even if they just said they’re independent companies?

      2. That’s approximately $42 a person.

        1. I’m definitely not worth $42 in advertising, maybe in data mining? I think Facebook was scared of losing another company to Google. That or they realize how bad facebook messenger is and they have no idea how to make it more reliable themselves.

          (also wouldn’t it be $16, $16billion divided by 1 billion users?)

          1. But who do you trust more? Google or Facebook?

          2. Google obviously, but Google isn’t dumb enough to blow this kind of cash. That valuation is absurd.

          3. You obviously forgot they spent 12 billion on Motorola which was too much money and bleeding costs just to get patents.

          4. point made.

          5. 12B for motorola is better than 16B for whatsapp right ?

          6. $12B was buying a company and its portfolio of patents as compared to $19B to buy an app.
            Plus the only light Facebook is seeing if Facebook as every other app they’ve made sucks.

          7. they sold moto for a bag of doritos…i think fb will be much more successful with whats app

          8. Those patents may be worth a fortune in protection against lawsuits and many are licensed by almost all other cellphone manufactures who pay to use them under FRAND every time they sell a device. Motorola also included factories, 1000’s of workers, 100’s of top ranking engineers (the best of which are now cherry picked to be google employees) set top box and other divisions google sold for money, tax breaks that google used, the moto x google now always listening mode also drives traffic to…google search which makes ad$, motorola may not have been profitable, but at worst google lost a pittance and at best broke even, maybe even made money long term.

            Whatsapp’s team is approximately 50 people most of which are russian/eastern european programmers who work for cheap and 1 app. also it turns out facebook also gave them $3 billion more in stock options for what’sapp employees, so actually its $19billion.

          9. Neither companies. But i’m forced to use both in my daily life because everyone i’m in contact with interacts with me through them platforms.

          10. Is there any company you do trust? What contacts used other platforms or companies and what have Google and Facebook done to break your trust? Just playing devil’s advocate, I think the same way you do actually but reading your say it just made me think of if there anyone you do trust? All I know for certain, thank god the Government doesn’t own our private messaging communication platforms and censor us, like in some countries.

          11. well said

          12. Trust Google more, the reason I left Facebook before their IPO.

          13. I agree with most of your point, but I don’t think that Facebook messenger is that bad

      3. Just wait until you actually start seeing negative changes. Right now it’s still the same app.

      4. waaaa

  2. **Sits down and creates NEW OTT IM app**

  3. Honestly, I’ve never even heard of WhatsApp. But then again, I don’t really use messaging very much. I’m fine with the built in stuff.

    1. The only reason I know about it is because of someone in my family who uses the app who told me about it.

  4. A Billion dollars….

  5. God please no..

  6. This is definitely a pinkie to the lips type of situation.

    1. I see what you did there.

  7. Facebook haz all the phone numbers!

  8. Ah well, no more Whatsapp for me lol

  9. i wonder whats the stats on active users that use both Facebook and Whatsapp. If it’s >=80% not sure the remainder of 20% or w/e users are worth $16 Billion. I mean after all Facebook did pay the $$ for users not the app itself

  10. If you think about how many WhatsApp users are already Facebook users and how many WhatsApp users use it specifically to avoid using Facebook or will never use it again because they hate Facebook, this 1B user number is completely ridiculous.

    The only benefit of this acquisition flows to the other messaging apps that people will rush to adopt to avoid the suck that is Facebook.

    1. Facebook basically sucked those Whatsapp users back into the ecosystem.

    2. It’s time to switch to the Hangouts messaging app. It’s better anyways.

  11. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

  12. If facebook tires to send me advertising or to force me use facebook to use whatsup then they should pay my 1 dollar back.

  13. I’m not sure how I feel about this information.

    1. If you live in America with all the unlimited free texting plans. You won’t be affected by this.

      For the rest of the world, this acquisition might be a problem for the WhatsApp users who don’t log on to Facebook. They might actually require a FB log in now. Just like they did with Instagram.

      1. Yeah I actually had the app year or so ago and realized it was basically pointless when you have unlimited texting.

      2. The rest of the world can use Hangouts for free for all their texting needs… they can text anybody on an iPhone or android phone in the united states, no matter where they are. the Hangouts app really is the best solution, and its even BETTER than WhatsApp

  14. If Facebook somehow mines my What’s App for information of any kind, then that’s the end of What’s App for me.

    1. Every company mines your information, information is power, and money. Name me one company you know for sure isn’t.

  15. Geocitites of the present is scared shootless that someone will take their market share. They can afford to buy them for whatever, and so they do… Guess what, there is no way to stop the clock.

  16. Google Hangouts could be the biggest gainer in this deal. I am sure FB will make ridiculous changes and people will move away from Whatsapp sooner or later.

    1. I really hope so, I dropped what’s app and have been urging more and more friends to transition to hangouts. My main gripe was the lack of computer based messaging. People have been crying out for it for an age with no response from whatsapp.

    2. Hangouts sucks. It’s buggy and the messages take too long to load on my Moto X.

      And the pictures don’t even load properly when uploading them.

  17. Lunch money for FB.

    1. $16 billion is lunch money?

      Even Apple wouldn’t spend this much on a simple app and they have over $150 billion in the bank.

      1. They’re worth 175Billion. I think 16 of that is lunch money.

        1. Stock valuation is very very different than cash on hand. They can’t make $175 billion magically appear, plus their stock is overvalued.

          Apple on the otherhand currently has approximately $158.8 billion in cash on hand. (Apple is terrified to not have massive quantities of cash, since unlike facebook and google they have massive infrastructure systems to support, so without this cash, just a couple of failed product launches could put them in the dark years like when jobs lost his job the first time. the cash protects them from this risk, but hurts them since they can’t invest as much as they’d like)

          I couldn’t find an exact number for Facebook as of 2014, but a few articles stated the $4 billion in cash they spent on whatsapp was 1/3 of their total so that would be only $12 billion. Facebook had $18 billion as of may 2012

          Cash is inexact due to the fact that these multinational companies use incredibly creative accounting to place cash in countries that tax at much lower rates, so apple can’t actually use much of that cash in u.s. purchases and operations without reshoring it to the u.s. and taking a large tax hit.

  18. psssst….! Everyone is leaving the sinking ship and joins Telegram

    Be the cool kid and have it before your friends do!
    It does everything Whatsapp does, just better.
    It enlarges your pen… no, no, it doesn’t do that.

  19. Don’t care about this as I use neither of these apps.

  20. All I was thinking was how I thought the billion that Facebook shelled out for Instagram was insane. Then they buy another app for 16 times that. Lol

  21. Hopefully they don’t change it. I use whatsapp for texting friends & family in 8+ different countries. I use Google Voice in the USA, but that doesn’t text internationally.

    For all the naysayers, you have to understand that Whatsapp only requires your phone number to operate, so it is purely a texting replacement. It does NOT require a separate account for google or facebook or anything else that certain people do NOT always wish to sign up for. It simply scans your phonebook, sees which of those numbers are also on Whatsapp, and you’re done. So, from a layman’s perspective you simply install it and now have free texting.

    And obviously, it has all the added benefits that a real IM service provides (multimedia, group chat, etc). Group chat via MMS (popular on iPhones; Android 4.2+ supports natively) is hacky at best, and doesn’t function the same on every phone (and requires enabling it).

  22. The deal here is that teens don’t use facebook anymore. They use things like whatsapp, snapchat, or kick. Facebook wants in on this trend. They don’t try to build public diaries and just want to communicate with specific friends. Think about facebook and how many people you communicate with that you wouldn’t care about if it wasn’t for facebook algorithms putting their content and posts in your face. These other forms of communicating are much more personal and going to your inner circle of friends. I’m surprised that g+ and facebook don’t allow you to create layers of friends starting with your immediate friends and family and extending out to acquaintances and extended family. If you tend to read extended friends things more often they could then ask if you want to move them into your inner circle. I would love to be able to do this and only see extended peoples things every 10th post they make.

    1. Your “every 10th” idea requires an algorithm to see what you like or not. The more you stop scrolling (or click) on posts beyond your circle, the more you’ll get of them. There’s no perfect way to do this, but both facebook and g+ have promoted posts.

      1. I guess the problem is I must be interested in people on facebook that I’m not in real life.

  23. good for fb…people are so flakey why you all talk how you hate fb yet i bet you check daily…and if you dont your boring n dont have much of a social life orr you have a girl that doesnt let you have fb…no other way around it…and when you said your gonna stop using instagram anddddd you didnt…let fb do its thing has instagram changed at all? not from my perspective…they wanna go global n touch another 780 million people a month I dont blame them…its all about revenue and im sure if they can somehow advertise through whats app thatll make a pretty penny…might suck to see a stupid add in settings or some nonsense but i dont see them changing a good thing so you can calm down with the fb/whatsapp flaming posts

  24. I’ll switch to Hemlis messenger as soon as it is released.

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