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Microsoft in recent weeks approached Facebook with proposals to invest in the startup that could value the fast-growing site at $10 billion or higher, said people familiar with the matter. If those talks bear fruit, Microsoft could purchase a stake of up to 5% in the closely held startup, at a cost in the range of $300 million to $500 million, the people said.
But Microsoft must first outgun Google, which has also expressed strong interest in a Facebook stake, according to people familiar with the matter.
Microsoft Expresses Interest In Facebook [online.wsj.com]
This is getting insane - it is 'only' a social network site - of which it just happens to be one or the larger ones..News Corp got a 'bargain' for $500m then!
I know it's not like MS can't afford it...that's pocket money... but take a look at youtube - which IMHO is not really going anywhere fast... I am sure G will get their money back but they have spent a whole load more than the $1.6billion it cost and from some reports (sorry i can't remember where I read) the rate of uploads is already slowing and thanks to the stricter copyright they have to work with in order to stop the lawsuits... may slow faster still.
IMO - bid it up and up and see whether G waste more money - the more control G starts to get with sites, the quicker everyone will start to turn away from those sites and maybe we'll end up with a more level playing field in years to come once G has spent a whole load of ready cash!
But hey - maybe I am just jealous I didn't think of it first :¦
Might an open source meta personal data future alter the arc of Facebook? Do you think Google might soon offer "social networking as a service"? Isn't Google already on that trajectory with their efforts in Local Search (sign up, it's free), product feeds, Gmail, a blogging platform, etc.? All that data and nowhere to go socially?
What if the social network was actually not a place you sign onto but simply an open source application, one that ran in such a way that "you aren't owned"? No website to sign onto that "owns you"? Sounds awfully Googelish.
What's the driving force behind social network sites 2.0, if not to a) profit; by b) selling stuff (advertising) to you, the captive audience? Is that the future of social networking? Do you really want to go to your neighbor's house and have him hang up advertising billboards to cover the cost of beverages?
My guess? Google kills Facebook by allowing social networking to take place "in the wild" - like social networking has for generations. Benefit to Google to allow this to happen - "free" - for all that word means? Let's see. 1) Kill off an external threat to G's utility as a search utility (versus a "recommend system"). 2) . .
Social networking as an application "on the fly". Possible? Sure, it's the way it's always been. Model it.
Somewhere in this mess is a great truth that your personal data has value and that value will be squeezed out of it, lucky us.
Do you really want to go to your neighbor's house and have him hang up advertising billboards to cover the cost of beverages?
LOL. Now I understand why some people have neon beer signs in their basement bars. :-)
- YouTube and PhotoBucket were recently purchased which prompted sites like photosite to shut down, when the major money holders purchase their social communities will sites like classmates shut down too? Many sites are treated like portfolio holdings these days.
- The sites being purchased have some value in brand recognition (their name) but much of their worth is in their visitor/user base. How much is a visitor worth these days? Is the value zero unless the site is number one in its sector?
- Which sector would make a likely target for the next round of aquisitions. We saw media/picture sites go first this year, now social networks are being courted strongly... what do the big money holders not have covered right now? I'd love to see a list.
[edited by: JS_Harris at 7:03 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]
it is 'only' a social network site
Yep. But they are also racking up impressive search stats. From their blog:
* Over 600 million searches per month. This makes us one of the top 20 search engines on the web in terms of number of searches.
* Approximately 1 terabyte of in-memory data.
* Average search query time of less than 100ms.
* Most used people search engine on the web.