Social media giant Facebook announced Wednesday it is acquiring the fast-growing mobile-messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion. In addition to the buying price, $3 billion in restricted stock will be given to WhatsApp founders and employees.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “I’ve known [WhatsApp founder] Jan [Koum] for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
The deal includes $4 billion paid in cash and roughly $12 billion in Facebook shares.
WhatsApp has seen tremendous growth in recent years, according to a Facebook press release, with 450 million people using the messaging service monthly and one million new users every day.