San Francisco - Facebook announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to buy rival WhatsApp for 4 billion dollars in cash and approximately 12 billion dollars worth of Facebook shares.
WhatsApp has established itself as a text messaging alternative that uses a smartphone app to connect users.
More than 450 million people use the service each month and 1 million new registered people use it per day, according to Facebook.
Seventy per cent of its users are active on a given day, Facebook added in a news release.
WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said, adding that any networks service that reaches that milestone is "incredibly valuable."