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Mobile Messaging Startup WhatsApp Acquired by Facebook

Posted on 2.19.2014

Mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp has been acquired for $19 billion in cash and stock by Facebook.

The Silicon Valley strartup rocketed to 450 million users in less than five years. "No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call on Wednesday. If Zuckerberg meant monetize an app like that, he's probably right.

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Facebook is paying $42 per user with the deal, dwarfing the $33 per user cost of acquiring Instagram. By comparison, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten just bought messaging service Viber for $3 per user, in a $900 million deal.

WhatsApp is unique however in that it is free of advertising, monetizing its user base by charging a one dollar fee per year after the first year of use.


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