Techmeme
February 19, 2014, 8:35 PM

Top News

Facebook:
Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $4B cash, $12B in Facebook shares, and $3B in restricted stock units, CEO Koum to join Facebook's Board  —  Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp  —  Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross …
Jan Koum / WhatsApp Blog:
WhatsApp says it will remain autonomous and nothing will change for users  —  Facebook  —  Almost five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission: building a cool product used globally by everybody.  Nothing else mattered to us.  —  Today we are announcing a partnership …
Jim Goetz / Sequoia Capital:
WhatsApp in numbers: 450M active users, 32 engineers, $0 in marketing, and only $1/year to use  —  Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp  —  WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton  —  Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion.
TechCrunch:
Why Facebook Dropped $19B On Whatsapp: Reach Into Europe, Emerging Markets  —  With 450 million monthly users and a million more signing up each day, WhatsApp was just too far ahead in the international mobile messaging race for Facebook Messenger to catch up as you can see in the 2013 chart above.
Zoran Basich / Venture Capital Dispatch:
Facebook's $19 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition Is Largest Ever for Venture-Backed Company  —  Facebook's acquisition of mobile-messaging company WhatsApp for about $19 billion is the largest deal ever for a venture-capital-backed startup. … The deal tops US West Media's acquisition …
David Rowan / Wired.co.uk:
WhatsApp: The inside story  —  In early December, Wired's editor David Rowan spent three days with the WhatsApp founders and was given unprecedented access to them and their business.  His full feature appears in the next edition of Wired's UK edition, published on March 6 (and with subscribers a few days earlier).
More: Forbes and CNETTweets: @gallagherbilly, @irowan, @paulballen and @jyarow
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Google Fiber chooses nine metro areas for possible expansion  —  Google Fiber is ready to expand, as Google has identified nine metro areas scattered around the country as possible sites of deployment, the company said.  —  “We've invited 34 cities in nine metro areas across the US to work …
Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:
Wheeler unveils new proposed rules for network neutrality, will try to stop “improper blocking”  —  The FCC announced its response to an explosive court decision that ended “net neutrality” last month: it will not appeal the decision, but scramble to impose new rules.
Bloomberg:
Google Capital Lands $300 Million and Leaps Into Web Education  —  Google Inc. (GOOG)'s new investment arm has $300 million in fresh capital to put to work this year and is starting the dealmaking with its first foray into Web education.  —  Google Capital, established by the search company …
Josh Lowensohn / The Verge:
Google I/O is back June 25-26 and you'll need to win a lottery to attend  —  Google just announced dates for its annual I/O developers conference, an event that has typically brought new products and updates to other services.  This year's conference will be held from June 25-26 …
Nathan Ingraham / The Verge:
BlackBerry's CEO is ‘outraged’ by T-Mobile's attempts to convert its customers to the iPhone  —  BlackBerry's new CEO John Chen is taking issue with what appears to be a fairly innocent T-Mobile promotion.  Last week, T-Mobile sent out an email to some customers currently using …
Leena Rao / TechCrunch:
eBay Acquires PhiSix To Integrate 3-D Virtual Try On Technology Across The Marketplace And More  —  It looks like 3-D virtual try-on technology will soon make an appearance on eBay.  The marketplace giant is announcing the acquisition of PhiSix, a company that develops 3-D visualization and simulation technologies for clothing.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google Starts Making The New Google Maps The Default For Everybody  —  After just under a year in preview, Google today announced that it is now rolling out the new Google Maps to all of its users as the default option.  —  Since Google announced the new version of Maps at its I/O developer conference …
Eileen Yu / ZDNet:
Xiaomi kicks off global expansion with Singapore launch  —  Summary: Chinese smartphone darling, Xiaomi, has kicked off its global expansion plans in Singapore where its Android devices will go on sale this Friday, marking the company's first foray into markets outside of Greater China.
Michael S. Rosenwald / Washington Post:
First “smart gun” on sale in the US requires RFID-enabled watch in proximity to fire  —  ‘We need the iPhone of guns’: Will smart guns transform the gun industry?  —  Video: Not long ago, smart guns — personalized weapons that only fired for authorized users — were seen only in the movies.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Microsoft and TracFone working together to bring mobile health solution to market  —  Windows Phone and TracFone services will connect data, devices and people to drive better patient engagement and health outcomes in a HIPAA-enabled environment.
Intel:
Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
VMware:
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Zoho:
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