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whatsappvoivemessageFacebook is buying messaging giant WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock. The deal is being cut for $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and an additional $3 billion in RSUs for employee retention.

Facebook has said that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and retain its brand. In addition, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board.

Currently, WhatsApp has over 450 million userss, with 70 percent of those active each day. WhatsApp also approaches the SMS volume of the entire global telecom industry — and that it’s adding 1 million users a day.

“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 in a statement.

“WhatsApp had every option in the world,” Zuckerberg  continued in a post to his Facebook page, “so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting. I’ve also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected. I’m particularly happy that Jan has agreed to join the Facebook board and partner with me to shape Facebook’s future as well as WhatsApp’s.”

Source: Tech Crunch