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Facebook CEO spends big to acquire smartphone application

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On Feb. 19, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans to buy the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. He will also bring the entire WhatsApp team on board as Facebook staff and appoint its founder and CEO, Jan Koum, as a Facebook board member (The Telegraph).

Zuckerberg is currently investing over half of his net worth, which currently stands at $27.9 billion (Bloomberg Billionaires). His payment plan consists of: $4 billion in cash, approximately $12 billion in Facebook stock, and $3 billion in restricted shares, to pay out Whats App over the next four years.

What’s App’s messenger allows various smartphones to send text messages and photographs to each other without being charged the SMS fees doled out by phone carriers. Such smartphones include: iPhone, Blackberry, and smart phones with an Android operating system. The messenger is free to use for the first year and a dollar for each additional year (Bloomberg Businessweek).

“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 that by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day,” said the Facebook CEO.

According to Facebook, 450 million users currently use WhatsApp on a daily basis; and the smartphone application is expected to eventually connect 1 billion people. Zuckerberg plans on having the new application complement Facebook’s current messenger by using WhatsApp to communicate with one’s phone contacts, while having Facebook Messenger communicate with one’s Facebook friends. Zuckerberg expressed confidence and excitement with the new business merge. ”WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled 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 (The Telegraph)."

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