Facebook just announced on its blog that it is acquiring WhatsApp for US$19 billion.
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and retains its brand like Instagram. This means that WhatsApp and Facebook's Messenger will continue to operate as standalone apps.
WhatsApp's headquarters will still remain in Mountain View while its CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook's Board of Directors. The acquisition is stated to help speed up growth and user engagement across both companies.
Facebook - "WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."
WhatsApp - "Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible."
WhatsApp currently supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users. In April 2013, there were rumors that Google was interested in acquiring WhatsApp for US$1 billion. However, WhatsApp shot down the rumors in an official statement to AllThingsD.
For more information on the acquisition, hit the source links below.