Facebook has today announced its plans to acquire WhatsApp for the equivalent of $19 billion in cash and stock, a move that will turn the social network into a fully fledged messaging provide.

As a platform for sending messages over a WiFi or 3G connection for free, WhatsApp quickly rose to fame when it first hit the App Store, and now that it has over 450 million active users a month, the service has certainly gained some attention at a few offices, given that the service dominates the competitors like Facebook Messenger, it certainly seems like a good decision for Facebook to make.

After the deal is completed, WhatsApp will run semi-independently, a lot like Facebook’s previous big acquisition, Instagram.

The service will maintain its own brand and keep its existing offices, but will be able to take advantage of Facebook’s “expertise, resources and scale.” So they will basically remain the independent brand they currently are, but under Facebook’s watchful eye.

Sources: SECFacebook NewsroomWhatsApp Blog

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