The $16 billion Facebook is paying for WhatsApp may sound absurdly high, but the deal—and the price tag—can be explained as a key way for the social network to expand its global, mobile reach. It's WhatsApp's scale that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is focused on – he predicts it'll hit 1 billion users in just a few years—and he says it'll be key to his vision for "connecting the world"
With WhatsApp, Facebook will become the biggest mobile messaging company in the world—it handles nearly as many text messages as the Telecom industry's entire $100 Billion text messaging business. WhatsApp is quickly expected to surpass the telcos texting volume. And as CFO David Ebersman pointed out on a conference call yesterday, "That's a $100 Billion business for carriers in terms of direct messaging fees. So this is a really valuable service that people are willing to pay for."