Facebook on Wednesday announced it was acquiring WhatsApp, a world leader in mobile messaging over the internet with 35 million users in India, for $19 billion in stock and cash to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd.

Facebook to buy messaging app WHATSAPP for 19 billion $.

The acquisition of the Whatsapp for such a heavy price has stunned the world and Silicon Valley observers. Whatsapp currently has around 450 million users and is daily adding around 1 million users.

"WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. 

Facebook has moved aggressively in recent years to catch up with the global shift towards mobile from desktop computing. It paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram in 2012.

It tried, and failed, to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013.
Both companies refused to give geographical breakdowns of subscribers, but BGR, a tech news service, has reported that WhatsApp had 35 million users in India in January, picking up 5 million in just a month.

Facebook to buy messaging app WHATSAPP for 19 billion $.

WhatsApp has local rivals in South Korea and Japan. But as Zuckerberg told investors in the conference call, it is a clear leader in "Europe, Latin America and India".

Zuckerberg and Koum, who is eight years older at 37, have known each other for a while. But, they first talked about the deal nine days ago, on an offer from Zuckerberg.


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