Facebook to Buy WhatsApp for $16 Billion
Facebook has agreed to purchase WhatsApp, a maker of over-the-top messaging applications for smartphones. The deal is valued at about $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock. The WhatsApp messaging service is available to the Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone platforms and lets users avoid texting fees by sending messages through data networks instead. Facebook said the acquisition will help it "accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies." WhatsApp counts about 450 million users, 70% of which are active each day. Facebook said that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp will be operated separately.
WhatsApp Adds Fun Camera Tools to Messaging App
Facebook-owned WhatsApp this week rolled out new features to its messaging application. Specifically, users can now write or draw on photos and videos, as well as add emoji to posts to give them character.
WhatsApp Says What's Up to Global Video Chats
WhatsApp today announced that it is enabling video calls for all users around the world. Video calling is being added to the Android, iOS, and Windows phone mobile apps over the coming days.
WhatsApp Ending Support for Blackberry and Symbian OSes
WhatsApp plans to cease supporting a handful of older mobile operating systems by the end of the year. WhatsApp will stop working on devices running Android 2.1 and 2.2; all BlackBerry OSes, including BlackBerry 10; Nokia's S40 and Symbian S60 platforms; and Windows Phone 7.1.
WhatsApp Drops Annual Fee
WhatsApp today dropped its annual subscription fee. The messaging service has been offered to new users free for the first year, but then required a nominal payment each year after that.
Facebook Aims to Simplify Connecting with Others Via Messenger
Facebook is adding several tools to its Messenger service with the the goal of making it easier to begin conversations with others. To start, the company is rolling out Messenger Codes, which allows people to scan one another's code and begin chatting.
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Ahead of the Bell: Facebook shares stumble
Analysts that follow the company had mixed feelings on the deal, which Sterne Agee called strategically sound. But Pacific Crest Securities said it would have preferred to see Facebook grow organically, or at least act sooner on such acquisitions to avoid the sticker shock.
WhatsApp is a global messaging service for smartphones. It allows users chat with their phone contacts, both one-on-one and in groups, and well the sending of texts, photos, videos and voice recordings.
Facebook said Wednesday that it's paying $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash for t...