Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp Messenger on February 17th was its biggest acquisition to date, worth a total of $19 billion (£11.4 billion).
Some of Facebook’s other major acquisitions include:
· Friendster Patents, in 2010 for $40 million.
· FriendFeed, in 2009 for $47.5 million.
· Snaptu, in 2011 for $60 – 70 million.
· Instagram, in 2012 for $1 billion.
· Oculus VR, in 2014 for $2 billion.
At the time of the acquisition, WhatsApp had around 450 million monthly users; the majority of whom were using the site to message each other without facing the costs of texting. Even though the site only had around 50 employees, the BBC reported it to be growing by over a million users per day.
In a statement announcing the deal, Mark Zuckerberg, (Facebook’s founder) described WhatsApp's services as "incredibly valuable". The acquisition of the messenger service will give Facebook more access to the smartphone market.
Many people are questioning what changes this acquisition will make to the service. Whilst on a conference call, confirming the deal, WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, said he planned to operate the firm "independently and autonomously" and to work with Facebook to make their service available to more people around the world. Mr Koum has also been announced as Silicon Valley's newest billionaire.
It’s been just over 2 months since the acquisition took place, and WhatsApp has recently announced that its active user base is now over half a billion people!
WhatsApp have reported massive growth in countries like Russia, Mexico, Brazil and India, and are claiming that their users are sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day!