Photo: Courtesy of WhatsApp.
If you happen to be friends with any one of WhatsApp's 55 employees, we recommend being really, really nice to them. Shockwaves rippled through Silicon Valley after news broke that Facebook acquired the mobile-messaging start-up for $19 billion in cash and stock.
To put the size of this deal into perspective, Facebook only parted with $1 billion to get their hands on Instagram, and we all know how that turned out. Needless to say, this is Facebook's largest acquisition ever, with $4 billion being paid in cash, $12 billion being paid in stock, and another $3 billion in restricted stock units. Peanuts.
WhatsApp, which was founded by 37-year-old Jan Koum (know his name), has become the most popular way for people looking to dodge text messaging charges, especially while travelling. The popular app boasts over 450 million active monthly users, many of them international, so it's no wonder good ol' Mark Zuckerberg called it "incredibly valuable."
Koum and Zuckerberg are expected to begin working together closely, with the WhatsApp boss set to join Facebook's Board of Directors. "We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook," Koum said in a statement, "as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."