Facebook on Oct. 6 officially closed its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, just three days after it received regulatory approval from the EU. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum will take a nominal salary of $1 in addition to restricted stock units worth about $2 billion. He has also joined the Facebook board.
WhatsApp was first released in 2009 and currently has 500 million monthly active users. Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly said on the Feb. 19 conference call that he believes WhatsApp will quickly grow to 1 billion monthly active users.
Live Blog: The Facebook/WhatsApp Conference Call - MoneyBeat - WSJ
Jan Koum said March 17 that his company's privacy policies will not change as a result of its acquisition by Facebook. Koum and WhatsApp had been under pressure to clarify exactly how -- if at all -- the Facebook acquisition would change the way WhatsApp treats user data.
WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently… 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.
– Jan Koum, WhatsApp CEO
WhatsApp, which had 32 engineers at the time of the acquisition announcement, said it will not introduce advertising and will continue as a fee-based service.
An upcoming version of WhatsApp for Android will feature end-to-end encryption, it was announced Nov. 18. The feature means that nobody, not even WhatsApp itself on behalf of law enforcement officials, can decrypt a WhatsApp conversation. No iOS details were announced.
Open WhisperSystems >> Blog >> Open Whisper Systems partners with WhatsApp to provide end-to-end encryption
WhatsApp has more than 700 million monthly active users, CEO Jan Koum said Jan. 6. The company previously said in August 2014 that it had 600 million monthly average users. Users are sending 30 billion messages a day.