On February 19, Facebook announced that it had agreed to acquire WhatsApp for a total of $19 billion(!!) in cash and stock. By buying the largest player in the thriving mobile messaging landscape, not only did Facebook get rid of one of its most dangerous competitors but also gained access to roughly 450 million phone numbers, an information many Facebook users had previously tried to withhold from the company.
WhatApp's user growth has been nothing short of impressive. Currently the messaging app has more than 450 million active users per month, up from just 200 million in April 2013. Moreover, WhatsApp handles more than 50 billion messages per day, which indicates extraordinarily high user engagement.
With a total value of $19 billion, the deal dwarfs other high-profile tech takeovers, such as Google's recent acquisitions of Motorola or Nest. Google reportedly had a $10 billion bid for WhatsApp rejected and probably won't be too happy about the messaging giant falling into the hands of Facebook.