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That's worth noting. HitWise reported last year that Facebook was #2 behind Google on Christmas. People say that Facebook vs. Google will be the web's biggest battle of coming years - but it looks like Facebook has already won the battle for Christmas.
Google can't afford to buy Facebook.
Why not? GOOG has a $200B market cap, and $8B in cash/equivalents. Facebook is valued at $5-10B depending on the day of the week.
$10B for Facebook would make more sense than the price they paid to YouTube in my opinion. Having said that, I don't think it would happen for two major reasons:
1. Anti-trust monopoly issues
2. Why would FB sell if their cash cow is making money? which they apparently are now.
I think they could afford it, while also believing that it wouldn't happen.
Interesting that this information was only on the Hitwise tweet and not on their blog or site.
One thing FB has well and truely in its favour is selling its own ads. Cut out the middleman so to speak.
regarding Christmas. I suggest this has a lot to do with people getting a new Computer/laptop or even mobile phones and wanting to login, even if just to save your username and password.
And that is why they would want them. Google looks at data, the way guys look at a Ferrari.
Google will probably get the data piped to them if they aren't already doing that. Actually owning the site and supporting the bandwidth is another issue.
Also, don't forget MySpace. People said that would stay #1. Things change...Facebook isn't guaranteed to stay top dog forever.
WAS valued at that in mid 2008. Their traffic has went up 4 fold since then. You would have to be talking considerably more to touch FB. Google can't afford that except through some leveraged stock deal - which fb has said they would not do in the past.
That all aside, I don't see fb selling. Matt seems happy running FB. It is his first baby - and that is the hardest one to sell at all.
Look at Alexis, Google Trends, Compete.com, and Quantcast. Compare Facebook with Yahoo and Google. FB has been growing steadily for the last few years.
FB was #3 and overtook Yahoo (#2) a few months ago. Yahoo has around 160m monthly US visitors; Google has 165m. I expect FB to overtake Google perhaps within 3 months and certainly within 6 months.
The real threat to G is not Bing. It's FB. Their users live within FB. They do everything inside FB. That moves users away from the general web. FB changes the way people use the web.
FB and G compete against each other. G isn't getting any FB data. (FB intentionally blocks G Analytics, i.e., the GA code won't work on a FB page). Microsoft bought a small share of FB.
FB is cash-flow positive, which means it isn't losing money, but it's not profitable. It's bleeding money on the servers. It has some 500m users now (Dec/09), which leads to more bleeding. FB is not a cash cow. It's a cash hole. They still haven't figured out how to monetize with the large advertisers (they are running some 50 different experiments at the moment).
G could easily afford to buy FB, but anti-trust would probably prevent that.
FB's "valuation" is pure speculation. Their VCs may say they want $10B, but VCs are vultures: give them the chance to make a profit and they'll sell. They don't give a rat's ass about the viability of the company or the potential: dump the sucker on Google's lap, take the money, and run.
Why would Google want another website that can't monetize and whose data is exponentially growing?
cause that is googles way of controlling the internet, they'll just buy all the popular high traffic sites and the internet will be google's.
they've got money to burn and they do just for the sake of control, its why they dump money down the hole with youtube.
It is kind of weird, but the success of FB may just be the fall of FB. Just my 2 cents!
maybe thats the reason I don't have a smartphone anymore. I really don't want to carry the social web around with me 24/7 365, when i turn off my computer the day is done and i can relax and clear my head.
Its also the reason smartphones push those apps so heavily, if you can't get away from FB, twitter, myspace, youtube you never put your phone down and you'd always pay them every month. Its why you see everyone walking face down into their phone, they are hooked.
its like high tech drug dealing.
MySpace, was by and for kids. Facebook is about staying connected with families and groups. You break high school bonds pretty quick. Families? You get them for life. Facebook isn't going anywhere. All they can do is continue growing as the defacto meeting place for friends, families, and groups.
Facebook is about staying connected with families and groups.
I think it works that way in the beginning, but over time folks grow tired of the impersonal nature of it. At least that is the trend I see with my family and friends. Everyone was using it like crazy. Now no one even mentions it any more.
It is not going any where, but it's popularity will fade.
One word: Tripod and Geocities.
Okay, that's two words. Remember them? Tripod and Geocities were massive sites (tens of millions of registered users) during the dotcom boom. Valuation was in the billions (Yahoo paid $5B to acquire Geocities.) They were pretty much the same as FB: build your free page, visit your friends, etc. The business model was banner ads.
What happened to them? Gone. $5B evaporated.
Were not social communities - they were homepage sites. Little more than blog sites with out blog software. There was no pull to keep people there once domains and hosting became so cheap.
Facebook is a social community.
> Everyone was using it like crazy. Now no one even mentions it any more.
In your circle. Others, are just now coming on to facebook. The largest growth demographic of the last year on FB has been 40-55 year olds. That generation of parents and grandparents. It is becoming their primary way to stay in touch with one another. I have seen massive growth in my personal social circles over the last six to nine months. I forgot about FB in 2008, but in 2009 I was drug back there time-and-time again to interact with family and long lost friends.
Google doesn't seem to have a business strategy either. 98% of their revenues comes from one tool (Adwords) but there is no lock-in. Google has done little (well, nothing) to cooperate with other companies or industries. All those free tools are nice, but there are free alternatives.
Google too could disappear. Remember AltaVista? They were the big search engine for several years. Gone.
Google got blindsided by Facebook. They thought Microsoft was the threat. But social media changes the way people use the web. FB is now 60% of all social media traffic.
In your circle. Others, are just now coming on to facebook.
I agree. I have relatives in their 40s who are not computer savvy, and vowed to never use Facebook.
Now--they're all Facebook drunk and can't get enough of it. They can't believe how easily they can get in touch with old friends, former co-workers, etc.
Now--they're all Facebook drunk and can't get enough of it.
they also love Farmville, Mafia Wars and a bunch of other apps. My office manager was beside herself with pride at how her farm was doing compared to all her friends. Personally I don't get it.
Facebook is the new AOL. Long live the closed ecosystem.
I suspect Google will try to wean people off FB by tempting them to use Google Wave more. But will the average web-user find Wave anywhere near as accessible as Facebook Status Updates / Wall / Messages / Events / Notes / Pages / Photo Albums?
Perhaps FB versus Wave is going to be the mother of battles?
Love it, @sgietz! Thanks for my chuckle of the day.
I think FB has some user issues to work out (as does GOOG, of course)... As I suspect is the case with Twitter, I suspect the initial enamoring will top out and fade.
Twitter becomes less conversational and more promotional. FB, with so many fan and friend-who-are-not-really-friends pages, seems to be wandering down that garden path as well.
I guess google is going to go buy facebook now.
Try offering $20 billion and see what FB says. Google had the chance, but then FB would have probably died.
FB's main problem is the lack of strategy. Asides from "grow like crazy", there is no real business strategy. The FB PPC is primitive. They are testing a few It appears to be a takeover target, i.e., built to be acquired by Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft (or some media company).
Rome wasn't built in a day
As narcissistic and voyeuristic as we humans are, there will come a point when no one will give a rat's booty about your 47th status update of the day. I already hid most of my friends' updates on FB, because they annoy me with their daily itineraries.
Unless FB can come up with something spectacular besides status updates and Farmville, I stick to my original two-year death prediction.