There have been rumors of this happening for awhile now but as of today it is official. Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire WhatsApp for $4 billion cash, $12 billion in Facebook Class A stock, and $3 billion in Facebook restricted stock for WhatsApp employees. That will essentially make WhatsApp own 8% of Facebook.
For now it seems like WhatsApp will continue to operate independently of Facebook and Facebook Messenger is seen as a different product. Zuckerberg said on a call that he sees WhatsApp remaining separate and that advertising was not going to be the monetization method.
These two big players combining is going to be very interesting. It essentially shows the value of BBM’s potential for BlackBerry.