Facebook Buying Messaging App WhatsApp for $16 Billion

WhatsAppFacebook is buying the hugely popular WhatsApp for $16 billion according to a filing with the SEC. The purchase, $4 billion in cash plus $12 billion in Facebook shares and potential for an additional $3 billion in employee stock payouts, will see WhatsApp founder Jan Koum joining Facebook's board of directors.

WhatsApp Messenger is a hugely popular cross-platform messaging app that allows users to chat with individuals or groups, as well as sending files and pictures back and forth.

Back in December, the service bragged that it had 400 million active users, with 100 million of those added in the last four months of 2013. Back in April of 2013, it was rumored that Google was close to acquiring the company for $1 billion -- something WhatsApp denied. Today's sale price reflects the company's tremendous growth over the last several months.

According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg:

WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

The service is one of many messaging services available on iOS and other mobile platforms, including Apple's own iMessage service integrated into iOS and OS X. Such services have become increasingly popular as users seek to avoid mobile carriers' SMS charges and expand their conversations to include devices not directly connected to cellular service. WhatsApp says that the Facebook and WhatsApp messaging apps will remain standalone for the foreseeable future, and WhatsApp will remain autonomous, operating independently of Facebook.

The company's app is currently the 35th most popular on the App Store. Facebook says WhatsApp's messaging volume is "approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume", roughly 7 trillion message a year. WhatsApp Messenger is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

In April 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
87 months ago
In other news....I still don't understand why people use WhatsApp
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
16 Billion?! Whats app with that?

(see what I did there?)
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
...

Dammit Facebook - just go away.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
Deleting whatsapp now - is it possible anymore NOT to use a Facebook service?
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago

iMessage :apple:


Not everyone uses iPhone.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
What is this, .com bubble 2.0?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...