Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19 Billion

The social media giant absorbs the messaging application in the biggest tech deal in years.
3:00 | 02/20/14

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Transcript for Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19 Billion
Give it up to you. A blockbuster tech deal. Facebook is gobbling up whatsapp for an eye-popping -- are you ready for this -- $19 billion. ABC's Rebecca Jarvis has the story. Reporter: Why is mark Zuckerberg paying these two guys $19 billion to join Facebook when just a few years ago, his company wouldn't give them a job? Because they started whatsapp, an app that lets people text unlimited messages from their smartphones on the internet and not only that, Zuckerberg is paying 18 billion more than he did for instagram making this the biggest start-up deal of all time. But whatsapp is huge growing facer than Facebook at the same stage and actually twice the size of Twitter. Reporter: Even if you haven't heard of whatsapp your kids probably have. Its 450 million users exchanging billions of texts a day. Its co-founders engineers who once applied to work for Facebook and got rejected. Plan B, starting their own company, whatsapp. Working for free completely draining their bank accounts eventually caught Facebook founder mark Zuckerberg's eye. He took the CEO of whatsapp out for coffee and the CEO said, nah, no thanks. Mark stayed in touch with him over the next two years. Reporter: The deal which gives the world's largest social network another dominant mobile communication tool will make whatsapp's 55 employees newly minted millionaires, at 19 billion buck, that's $345 million apiece. And not only that, the founder picked a special place to sign the deal, the social services office where the Ukrainian immigrant would wait in line to collect food stamps just a few years ago. For "Good morning America," Rebecca Jarvis, ABC news, new York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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