Facebook came with an exciting announcement on Wednesday. After being rebuffed by Snapchat, the largest social network set eyes on WhatsApp. The alliance has been formalized yesterday when Facebook announced that it will spend $19 billion for the acquisition of the five year-old messaging service.
The deal covers $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash and approximately $3 billion in restricted shares, Facebook indicated in a statement.
For those who hate maths, $12 billion represents the NASA’s budget, the budget of the French economy under François Hollande, Samsung’s entire marketing budget for a year, and, for those who love football, the sum could buy you as many as 500 Zlatan Ibrahimovics. It may sound scary, but this whopping sum also measures the entire fortune of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg!
The social network has been trying to ginger up its portfolio to get a grip on most of the world’s population surfing the internet, particularly in a time where its future growth is questioned by investors and where teens are fleeing from the platform. Snapchat overtly refused to be part of Facebook’s life but WhatsApp could not help but get seduced.
In any case, the messaging service with 450 million monthly users, which is expected to connect 1 billion people soon, can be the powerful booster Facebook looked for.
Mark Zuckerberg could not contain his happiness for Facebook’s biggest purchase to date on his timeline: ‘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.’
In statement, Facebook also highlights that WhatsApp will work independently from the organization after the purchase, like it is presently the case for Instagram, bought by Facebook for $715.3 million in 2012.
Under Facebook tutelage, WhatsApp’s highest challenge will be China, a market in which it failed to fully enter due to stiff competition from Chinese WeChat.
Source: DailyMail, Rue 89, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, Facebook’s Deal Announcement on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)