WhatsApp, founded in 2009, allows users to message one another via smartphone over the internet, and even aggregates users’ contacts from email, chat and social networks. It has 1,000 million daily active users globally spanning over a hundred countries covering 750 mobile networks and delivers about one billion messages per day.
The move is in keeping with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s comment that mobile would be crucial to Facebook reaching the “next billion”. Facebook clocked one billion monthly users in October.
It has been trying to improve its mobile service business and made buyouts including the purchase of photo-sharing mobile app Instagram. It also acquired Israeli facial recognition firm Face.com in June and the team behind the start-up mobile app firm Spool in July.