Facebook has made its largest acquisitions so far, agreeing to buy the hugely popular WhatsApp free messaging service for $19bn (£11.4bn).
The move looks to be the cherry on the cake in the rise of WhatsApp, with the service having grown enormously since its launch in 2009. It now boasts over 450 million monthly users, with a further one million signing up every single day.
In a statement issued by the world’s largest social network, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable”.
The press release also pointed out that WhatsApp will “continue to operate independently and retain its brand”. This may give some indication of how much Facebook plans to change and adapt WhatsApp’s services.
It’s worth noting that Zuckerberg’s company has taken a hands-off approach to Instagram, the photo-sharing service it purchased for $1bn in 2012, since it took over the popular app.