Facebook is to acquire WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, for $16 billion in cash and stock, according to Nasdaq Filing – plus a penalty of $1billion if it doesn’t go through!

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. “I’ve known Jan [Koum, WhatsApp cofounder] for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

I think the consumer data they’ll be able to use for even more targeting is exactly what the mobile networks always dreamt of.

Have you ever used WhatsApp? What do you think of it? It was a great way to avoid SMS costs when that mattered…but now?