How WhatsApp handled its $19 billion news

As commentators argued about whether Facebook’s decision to shell out $42 per user was a good idea or not, the company itself assured those users nothing would be changing.

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Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible. Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.

Koum added that WhatsApp will continue to cost a “nominal fee,” work on any smartphone, and be ad-free. That last point is particularly surprising, considering that Facebook is now officially a mobile ad firm, with 53 percent of its revenue coming from mobile advertising. “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,” Koum wrote. (Though Koum says the service won’t change for customers, things have clearly changed quite a bit for WhatsApp’s employees, who marked the occasion with Cristal.) The reassurances were almost certainly welcome, but one thing WhatsApp’s founders may have wanted to add was some explanation as to just what their service is. Tweets similar to this one were not all that uncommon after the acquisition announcement:

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