If WhatsApp can fetch $19B, what's BlackBerry's BBM worth?

You might think that Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion suggests that BlackBerry is sitting on a gold mine with its BBM messenger service.

Well, not so fast.

Facebook shocked the market on Wednesday with the purchase of messaging app WhatsApp in a deal that included $16 billion in cash and stock, and another $3 billion in restricted stock that would vest over the next four years.

The deal set a new, much higher benchmark on the valuation of mobile messaging companies. Based on the $19 billion figure, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $42 per monthly active user (450 … Read more

Facebook score a bargain with $16B acquisition of WhatsApp?

Facebook's announcement Wednesday of its multibillion-dollar acquisition of WhatsApp might have many wondering why Facebook thinks the popular messaging app is so valuable.

But if you can ignore the eye-popping price tag -- a base price of $16 billion ($4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock), plus $3 billion more in stock options that vest a few years down the road, for an eventual grand total of $19 billion -- Facebook may have gotten quite a deal on WhatsApp. Like the central premise of "Moneyball," it's all about the numbers.

And WhatsApp has plenty of … Read more

Facebook's new 10-year plan? SMS -- aka WhatsApp

The next 10 years of Facebook won't look anything like the last 10 years, thanks in part to the landmark acquisition of mobile messaging sensation WhatsApp, a buy that will help the social network accomplish its ambitious strategy of reaching billions more people around the world.

Facebook said Wednesday that it will buy the app, which comes along with 450 million monthly active users, for $16 billion in cash and stock, and also award the startup's founders and employees with an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units (RSUs), which will take four years to vest once the … Read more

Who is WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum?

WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum isn't what you'd call a bragger, but he has plenty to boast about.

In just five years, Koum and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton have created one of the world's largest messaging apps -- an app that Facebook just agreed to buy for $16 billion, plus an additional $3 billion in stock options that will vest over the next several years.

With the acquisition, Koum, 38, will join Facebook's board of directors, but WhatsApp will remain autonomous and independent from the social network, much like Instagram. Koum wrote in a blog postRead more

WhatsApp: Don't sweat, Facebook buy won't change us

It'll be like this $16 billion deal never even happened.

At least, that's according to a blog post on Wednesday from WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, reassuring customers that despite Facebook's acquisition of the company, nothing about the service will change.

"Here's what will change for you, our users: nothing," the post said.

WhatsApp will operate independently, reiterating what Facebook also said in its announcement. The service won't have any ads interrupting your communication. People will still be able to pay a small fee to use the service.

"There would have been no … Read more

Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $16B

Facebook said Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire WhatsApp in a $16 billion cash and stock arrangement with the popular messaging application's parent company. The announcement was made in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The deal for WhatsApp includes 183,865,778 shares of Facebook stock, valued at $12 billion, along with $4 billion in cash. Once the acquisition closes, Facebook has promised to grant 45,966,444 restricted stock units (RSUs) to WhatsApp founders and employees, tacking on an additional $3 billion in value to the deal, bringing the total value of the acquisition … Read more

How to refresh your News Feed in Facebook Paper

For me, the main appeal of Facebook Paper is the way it presents my News Feed. One of the issues I've always had with it is the lack of pull-to-refresh to force my feed to reload.

As it turns out, the pull-to-refresh feature is present, but doesn't work when you pull down on your feed. You probably have already noticed that pulling down when viewing your feed will open the app's menu.

But if you pull to the right on the image at the top of your feed, upon release it will refresh your feed.

If there … Read more

Comcast-Time Warner deal riles up consumers

CNET Update is more everything:

In this episode of Update:

- Get a quick summary of why many folks are not happy with Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

- See if Verizon's new "More Everything" plan is a good deal for you.

- Keep an eye out for an Xbox One Media Remote to go on sale in March.

- Find more Windows apps to download if Microsoft makes it easier for developers.

- Go by more than just male or female on Facebook, now that the social network opened up more gender identification options. … Read more

Facebook expands gender options for user profiles

Facebook recognizes that not everybody identifies themselves simply as a "male" or "female," so it's added the ability for users to identify themselves with a range of labels, including "other."

People can now select a custom gender identification, the pronoun they would like to be referred to publicly, and who can see their gender selection, Facebook announced Thursday. Your About page will now include options like "cisgender," "transgender," and "intersex," in addition to the previous "male" and "female" options.

You can also select … Read more

Advocacy group files appeal against Facebook privacy settlement

In August, Facebook settled a highly publicized class action lawsuit that took issue with the social network's use of people's names and photos in advertisements.

A lot has happened since the suit was first filed in 2011: The company paid $20 million, and the ad units in question, Sponsored Stories, will be retired. But the practice of having users appear in ads because they "liked" or commented on a piece of content -- the act that was so controversial -- is still in place at Facebook.

And some critics still have issue with a specific point … Read more