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You may have heard the news already, but what seemed impossible is now a reality. Facebook is going to cough up $16 Billion for the popular social chat app WhatsApp. According to the release, the purchase price is $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook stock, plus another $3 billion in restricted stock given to the founders and employees, which vests after four years. If you see a $19 billion number floating around out there, that’s why. In other words, everyone who works for the company now has a huge incentive to stay on—and it shows that Facebook is interested in the talent that worked on the service, in addition to the platform itself.

According to the Facebook release, WhatsApp has 450 million active monthly users and is adding one million users per day. That’s an impressive clip.

Luckily nothing is going to change, Whatsapp will remain the same. Co-founder Jan Koum said:

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.

This means Facebook just took out one of it’s main competitors in the online chat battle. $16 Billion is still a crap load of money, but what facebook did is grab hold of all the users that aren’t using Facebook chat already.

If there’s one absurdly simple thing that our phones can’t do perfectly yet, it’s stupid easy messaging with a totally ubiquitous service that already has everyone you’ll ever know and works on all your devices. We’re talking talking One True Client. Whoever can lock that up is going to be have control of the single most important part of a phone and all the people who use that feature. That’s worth at least $16 billion if you make it all yours. – Gizmodo