A report has just started making it’s way around the internet saying that Facebook will be purchasing WhatsApp for an enormous $16 billion. Yes, with a b. That’s an insane amount of money, but not something unheard of in this day and age of companies buying other companies. Facebook has said that $4 billion of this will be in cash, while $12 billion will be in stock.
What’s more, Facebook is also providing $3 billion in RSUs to WhatsApp’s founders and employees (of which there are reportedly only 55), which will vest over the next 4 years. Jan Koum, chief exec and co-founder of WhatsApp, will be joining Facebook’s board.
WhatsApp, according to the report, has 450 million monthly users, which 70% (roughly 315 million) of those users being active daily. Mark Zuckerberg said this in the press release:
WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.
Including the $3 billion RSUs in the total, making it $19 billion, each user of WhatsApp comes in at around $42 per user. In contract, the total users for Instagram were around $30 per user.
My only question left is, what will become of WhatsApp? The messaging platform is obviously extremely popular, but will it be merged with Facebook Messenger? Or will they remain separate? If you look at Instagram as an example, it could remain completely separate. No one really knows other than Facebook and WhatsApp, obviously. The difference here is Facebook has a messaging system already in place; it didn’t have a photo sharing-specific platform before it bought Instagram. The fate of Messenger and WhatsApp are still to be seen, but definitely keep and ear out for any developments.
What do you think? Are you a WhatsApp user? If so, are you happy about the acquisition? Or do you wish Facebook would stay out of things? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.