Social media giant Facebook has just announced, the purchase of instant messaging app Whatsapp. Commenting on the deal his Facebook wall, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg did not say how much Facebook will pay for the IM which has 450 million users, but the deal is rumored to be in the region of $19 billion in Facebook stocks and cash.
Based on what both parties are saying, we should not expect any drastic changes to Whatsapps revenue model. Whatsapp has always been adamant that advertising will not be part of their revenue model and in their own statement on the deal, they were quick to reassure users that “you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”.
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Whatsapp founder Jan Koum was recently quoted as saying the platform would have “no ads, no games and no gimmicks” but Judging by the magnitude of the deal, there is no guarantee that this policy will remain forever.
The deal will also see Whatsapp’s staff complement of 32 engineers joining Facebook and Facebook says the team will continue to “work independently within Facebook” so we should expect some level of continuity on key Whatsapp elements. Jan Koum will also be joining Facebook’s board of directors.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Here’s the full statement from the Facebook founder:
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook.
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.
WhatsApp is a simple, fast and reliable mobile messaging service that is used by over 450 million people on every major mobile platform. More than 1 million people sign up for WhatsApp every day and it is on its way to connecting one billion people. More and more people rely on WhatsApp to communicate with all of their contacts every day.
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts forInternet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.
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.
WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting.
I’ve also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected. I’m particularly happy that Jan has agreed to join the Facebook board and partner with me to shape Facebook’s future as well as WhatsApp’s.
Jan and the WhatsApp team have done some amazing work to connect almost half a billion people. I can’t wait for them to join Facebook and help us connect the rest of the world.