The world of tech and money is staring googly eyed at their multiple computer screens tonight as words seeps out from Silicon Valley that Facebook has purchased the smartphone messaging service Whatsapp, for like 9% of Ireland's GDP or 16bn dollars to you and me.
Whatsapp as if we need to tell you, is a mega popular group messaging service which has allowed for many's the ridiculous arguments and discussions to unfold. It was first birthed in 2009 by two ex Yahoo employees and has grown to 400m users worldwide serving over 14bn messages daily, that's a whole lot of gloating football results and selfies.
Sure it even gave us an amazingly ridiculous story from London 2012 where an Irish boxing fan got his semi finals mixed up with his finals.
The CEO and Co-Founder Jan Koum has managed to calmly sit down and write a blog post on the matter despite being in a end of Crystal Maze type scenario..
Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us.
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.
Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.
WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.
On a personal note, Brian and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a small team of people who, in just under five years, built a communication service that now supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users. They have helped re-define and revolutionize communication for the 21st century, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Our team has always believed that neither cost and distance should ever prevent people from connecting with their friends and loved ones, and won’t rest until everyone, everywhere is empowered with that opportunity. We want to thank all of our users and everybody in our lives for making this next chapter possible, and for joining us as we continue on this very special journey.
WhatsApp message volume growth is still accelerating. Has probably now overtaken SMS. pic.twitter.com/KsR85Mplrt
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) January 20, 2014
The message is clear, nothing changes, everyone gets rich and keep whatsapping, as another million of us are going to join up tomorrow and the next day and the next day. 16bn plus another 3bn, it's mad ted.
*16bn is as far as we are concerned all the money in the world.