Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Facebook On The Block 250

Posted by Zonk
from the folks-on-the-service-already-selling-themselves dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek reports that Facebook has turned down an offer for $750 million and is looking for 2 billion dollars. The article speculates that one possible suitor would be Viacom. From the article: 'A Facebook deal would help Viacom founder and Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone fend off a growing challenge from News Corp. The media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch has poured enormous resources into the Internet during the last year. It acquired social-networking pioneer MySpace.com last year for $580 million.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook On The Block

Comments Filter:
  • oh brother (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    i read garbage like this and think we're headed for yet another intenet fall. myspace? facebook? do we hontestly expect these fads to drive an economy? the web is 21st century snake oil.
    • Re:oh brother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcnnghm (538570) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @02:08PM (#15011951)
      You obviously aren't in college. Facebook is a marketers wet dream. One of the hardest demographics to reach hits that site literally 20 times a day. And that includes everyone, especially the trend setting popular kids (who are often the most addicted).
    • Re:oh brother (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jahz (831343)
      Before you are so quick to judge, try and look at it from a bussiness point of view. For a multi-national conglomerate, sites like Facebook are invaluable. Consider that hundreds of thousands (millions?) of America's college-age youth have volunterally registered themselves (and their entire social network) on this site. They've itemized everything they like, and everything they hate, and matched it with detailed geographic and demographic information.

      A quick glance at the constantly updated Facebook sta
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:59PM (#15011414)
    1. Make site where dumbasses post pictures of themselves drunk and create atrocious "web pages" to showcase said pictures
    2. ???
    3. Profit!
  • by SpaceCadetTrav (641261) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:00PM (#15011423) Homepage
    Don't go to school, can't register on the Facebook. Bummer.
    • If you went to college, many give alumni free email forwarding from a school site. This is for three reasons (1) the prestige of having a college email address; (2) a stable one that will last for 30,50,70 years for life; and (3) they get your real email address for fund raising.
    • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @02:06PM (#15011942)
      I disagree with the idea that Facebook's registration system is its advantage because it closed--the advantage of the system is that it offers easy searching for people and arranges them in nifty, easy to understand hierarchies. Because Facebook requires registration from a college/high school email address the ease of searching and hierarchical arrangement is retained (whereas most people, I suspect, would default to signing up on Myspace with whatever aol.com or hotmail.com account they have.) This plus is a side-effect of the closedness, but I don't believe the closedness is an advantage all unto itself.

      Some suggest that Facebook is somehow more safe for its participants. A surface examination may suggest that, but I think on a practical level it's not. As the security fears of Myspace die down (they're really just the normal internet dating fears that we've always heard except now brought down to 14 year olds plus the current hysteria regarding sexual offenders) I think that Facebook's closedness will be looked upon as a disadvantage.

      After all, if you're going to spend $2 billion on Facebook, you'd want a pretty strong potential for growth, and Facebook will get maxed out too quickly, and the only new growth for it will be from new high schoolers who can add themselves in. The brand has to open up to create the value.

      (I add, incidentally, that I've thought about this because Facebook, as it was originally designed, was a reasonable concept for a small college like Harvard. I go to Ohio State, where the idea of having so much information about you (until recently the default) presented to what is a mega-city sized student/alumni population is assinine. Though I've got a facebook account, I find the obscurity of myspace more convenient (though I don't post salacious pictures of myself doing stupid things that employers could discover later.)
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by djdanlib (732853) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:01PM (#15011426) Homepage
    Why do the Facebook people feel the need to sell their company? Come on, just keep running Facebook the way it is. It doesn't need to be sold.

    Remember what happened when they sold mp3.com? It died a horrible death. If that happens to Facebook... a lot more people will be upset.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by nacturation (646836) <[nacturation] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:02PM (#15011440) Journal
      Well, for starters there's this neat thing called money...
       
      • What does facebook do that it could possibly be worth $750 million dollard (or worse yet, the $2B they think they're worth)?

        Usually people buy companies to make more money for themselves. How could Facebook possibly generate enough renevue to reasonably pay off the initial investment?

        • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Irish_Samurai (224931)
          What does facebook do that it could possibly be worth $750 million dollard (or worse yet, the $2B they think they're worth)?
          • An Established Brand, this alone takes a ton of cash and time to build up. It is worth purchasing as a whole.
          • A Goldmine of demographic data that can be sold to marketers and shared with the purchasing company's other divisions.
          • A captured, self renewing marketplace for advertising, word of mouth campaign launches, and buzz marketing initalization
          • An Established Brand, this alone takes a ton of cash and time to build up.

            This is obviously untrue, as Facebook managed to do it with almost no money, and they've only been around for a couple of years.
            • When there is no one in the marketspace it takes nothing. When there is someone to dethrone you have to cough up the cash.
          • This so sounds like something that fell through a wormhole from 1999. Buzz marketing, brand, users... Sure these things are worth a lot, but two billion dollars? Not unless you've got revenues and a business model. Do they have this?

            I couldn't find out; I tried looking on the website. All I could get off their website was "Mark Zuckerberg- Founder. Dustin Moskovitz- Keeper. Chris Hughes- Empath." Great. What the $#&* is an empath and how the hell does it contribute to the bottom line? Does he get in

            • The thing that they have that other overhyped sites don't is a consistent demographic. When the users outgrow this service, they are replaced by new ones in the target, and highly coveted, demographic.

              I think it's a combination of the demographic and the possible marketing services that is causing them to inflate their asking price. The business model is pretty clear, captured demographics to market too and demographic information for sale. It would be a pretty stupid move to advertise this on the user faci
        • They have a pipe into the mindspace of nearly every college student in the US for starters. Huge demographic and it is starting to get to the point where the average college student spends more time on facebook than watching TV. It is also a viral thing like IM networks and online auction sites: their features can be copied and even surpassed, but without an installed base they are squat. The only worry of being toppled they have is that microsoft includes a crappy facebook workalike in explorer.exe. I
    • Because they stand to make something on the order of one billion dollars?

      I mean, how freaking interesting can running that site be? I'd be happy to dump it and get on to something more worthwhile.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:04PM (#15011465) Homepage
      Why do they need to sell it? Because if they do they can retire to their own private island instead of managing a cheesy yet inexplicably hugely popular website?

      Facebook is a cheesy unoriginal idea that became a huge fad, and these guys can reap a huge financial windfall for it. They would be fools not to sell.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BewireNomali (618969) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:15PM (#15011563)
        I think why facebook s interesting is because it's self renewing. The difference with other social sites is that they quickly die the death most fads do.

        Facebook is constantly renewing itself - with a new "class" as students leave and students come in.

        So in my estimation, facebook is more valuable than Myspace because facebook has constant and consistent and probably measurable influx of new people. If they can permanently tie facebook to the college experience, then facebook becomes a very valuable long term commodity, because advertisers and content providers can target the entire college age audience at once. That would be huge.

        also, from a financial standpoint, college students are even more valuable than high school students, as they all will be wielding credit cards for the first time, meaning they've just acquired their power to spend beyond their means. All my college friends incurred serious debt in college - in fact most of their debt was acquired in school. So advertising to this "new money" as it were, is very important.

        • by qbwiz (87077) *
          At the same time, the population of Facebook is also expiring. The people who are finishing college may stay on, but they probably won't bother to check as often, so they'll gradually stop coming and looking at ads. The people who are on Myspace might stay on for an indefinite amount of time, and they can always bring anyone in.
          • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

            by SgtPepperKSU (905229)
            "At the same time, the population of Facebook is also expiring."
            That's a good thing! That way advertisers are pretty much guaranteed that their audience will be of a particular demographic - current students.
            You don't have that kind of assurance at myspace.
            • exactly my point. the demo will always be current students. that "renewable" factor ensures that facebook is around long after myspace is a memory.
              • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jackbird (721605)
                ...but isn't the number of kids turning 12 and signing up for myspace roughly similar to the number of kids entering college and signing up for facebook?
                • My point is that it's possible that in six months, those kids turning 12 will no longer think myspace is cool and therefore sign up with another service.

                  with careful positioning, facebook can maintain its position as college-aged social networking portal and last for a while. That's my point. It's positioned itself uniquely to transcend trend-dom and become something people naturally do.
                  • I don't really see how facebook isn't vulnerable to exactly the same thing.
                    • that credit card thing to me is a huge point. credit cards are thrown at students and most pick up at least one. this means they can spend beyond their means. this is huge to advertisers and credit card companies, and the country as a whole, as a huge method of control for the populace is personal debt.
        • by dema (103780)
          All my college friends incurred serious debt in college - in fact most of their debt was acquired in school.

          You ended this sentence a little early: All my college friends incurred serious debt in college - in fact most of their debt was acquired in school tuition and outfuckingrageous fees.

          (:
        • This is the 21st century. As soon as something cooler shows up, people'll move to that. Facebook is a great idea, but it only has certain functions. There are things I want to do but I can only do on friendster, or other social sites. It has clubs, and social maps, and whatnot, but it is also not very customizable, and sometimes hard to search for new friends. Look for something similar but with more functions and social dynamic to take it's place in a few years, or perhaps watch Facebook change dramat
          • I'm rather happy Facebook is of very limited customizability. Ever tried to read text on a bloody animated gif or green text on red background, or really any image whatsoever, as a background, like several people I've seen on myspace do? I'll take the white-blue color scheme of facebook, thanks. At least I can read it.
        • Yes, but no one makes you register during freshman orientation. It can be easily replaced, even with such a big mindshare.
    • Why do the Facebook people feel the need to sell their company? Come on, just keep running Facebook the way it is. It doesn't need to be sold.

      ... such sites either make money (i.e. have a working business model) or they try to get bought by some senile billionaire (or the corporate equivalent of one).

    • And the people who sold it became filthy stinking rich.

      What would you rather do: Work on a site that's populated by ego-ridden teens and young college students who whine a lot and make some money off of adverts and sponsorships, or get a (very) large suitcase full of money and go do drugs off a hooker's ass in Vegas?

      If you're still thinking about this, just ask yourself: What Would Bender Do?
    • I hope they don't sell it. MySpace is much buggier and less logical than Facebook.

      For one thing, as a "social network," MySpace tells you nothing about how you're connected to people. Facebook says "you know Pete who knows Lindsay who knows Robert who knows Kat." Much more interesting and useful, especially if a cool person happens to be one degree away from you. "Hey Katie, I met your friend Zack online. We should invite him to our party."

  • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:01PM (#15011434)
    You know... I've seriously thought about this myself. I just have to figure out how to make a site that generates a lot of hits with no real income and then sell it off to the highest bidder.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You know... I've seriously thought about this myself. I just have to figure out how to make a site that generates a lot of hits with no real income and then sell it off to the highest bidder.

      Then party like it's 1999... :-)
    • Actually it has a lot of income....it is called relevant advertising. That is why if you put your favorite movie as fight club, a poster store (and ad) for fight club posters will show up. If all websites had that sort of advertising people wouldnt be so annoyed by banner ads.
    • No real income? What makes you think that?

      Facebook doesn't release revneue figures, but as recently as Apr'05 they were valued at around $100mil, which tells me that they have significant revenues.

      Facebook generates revenue from banner ads, local sponsored links, and sponsored groups. Considering that 85% of the college population [techcrunch.com] (which, BTW, is a very sought-after demographic) uses Facebook, I'd say their ad revenues could be extremely significant.

      2 bn is probably excessive, I wouldn't be able to
    • OMG, that is brilliant. Why haven't more people thought of that?

      Oh, right. Everyone did.
  • by mcguyver (589810) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:02PM (#15011446) Homepage
    Sure, its' alexa ranking is 62 but $2 billion for a site created two years ago? WOW! You would think a billion worth of investment into engineering and marketing could easily recreate facebook.
    • Recreate the functions that run facebook? Yes.

      Recreate the following and population behind the site? Not likely.
    • Facebook is already entrenched on nearly EVERY college campus in the United States. The first thing freshmen are told by upper classmen is to get on facebook. You can't buy that kind of advertising. Sure you could create a competitor but most likely it will be brushed aside as a facebook clone. There are a few facebook and myspace competitors out there but most people have the attitude of I already have myspace and facebook why do I need another one. In order to steal facebook's users you have to have
      • Exactly, Google learned this with Google Talk: they ended up buying 5% of AOL to be able to interoperate (ok.. there were other reasons.. like the insanely large portion of revenue Google gets through ads to AOLers..).
      • Re:No it can't (Score:2, Interesting)

        by notreallynas (714307)
        And when I was in school everyone was on friendster.com. That service sniffed the $$$ and went to hell too. If all it would take to throw off facebook is a new innovative feature that would enthrall the masses, don't you think $2B would be better spent developming that?
        • I completely agree. Facebook is a lightweight technology that gained a lot of popularity in a short amount of time. What does that say about their users? They're fickle. Another 'facebook' will be around in two years and it's going to make the current facebook like like another friendster. Facebook is valueable, drives a _serious_ amount of traffic and has an ideal user base. You can put a high price on something like that but $2 billion? That reminds me too much of other over valued companies.
    • Yeah, and with enough money you can make the new ebay! No. Not unless ebay seriously fucks up. (Ok I admit it, if you managed to get enough money to pay users to post their auctions on your site and could keep it up for a solid year, you would be able to replace ebay. Good luck dealing with all the scammers on that deal though.)
    • 1) Go work for another social network web site.

      2) Steal their source code.

      3) Quit and start your own site.

      4) Profit!

      Apparently worked for Orkut and FaceBook!

      It would be so nice if it took creativity and hard work and perhaps a little luck to get rich, but apparently a stale idea and a little PHP/MySQL knowledge is enough these days.

    • Unlikely. Being able to achieve the same popular as Facebook itself is a big gamble, and it will take a while for the investment to pay off. On the other hand, if you pay twice as much now, you get the revenue stream immediately, and you get the user base immediately.
  • by christopherfinke (608750) <chris@efinke.com> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:03PM (#15011449) Homepage Journal
    That may sound like a huge amount of money, especially when you consider that the company was launched just two years ago by a group of sophomores at Harvard University, led by Mark Zuckerberg

    Hmmm...

    / Adds Mark Zuckerberg to his friends.

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:03PM (#15011453) Homepage Journal
    with such insane amounts of money pouring into overhyped dotcoms again, I can see the next crash coming... show me the myspace.com business model please - I mean, I'm all for sites driven by user-generated content (it works for slashdot and many others), but such large investments should have at least a tiny chance of being made back eventually (i.e. in the next 10 years or so) ;-)

    • Facebook has a captive audience that is in a consistent demographic and has all of the users verified as real human beings. Or close enough to that. This means that advertisers can make very focused advertising campaigns to a large group of people in the ever so popular 18-24 demographic.
      • Facebook has a captive audience that is in a consistent demographic and has all of the users verified as real human beings. Or close enough to that.

        Certainly true, I agree.

        This means that advertisers can make very focused advertising campaigns to a large group of people in the ever so popular 18-24 demographic.

        Alright, so where is that revenue now? What's keeping them from fully realizing this potential? They'd better have an EBIT of $50mil+ if they expect to be valued at $2b by a rich fool ;-)

    • Ok chicken little, the sky is still up where it's supposed to be. Do your understand the difference between what's occuring today and what occured six years ago?

      Viacom is a huge company, as is Rupert Murdock's news company; seven hundred fifty million is not nearly as much money to Viacom as one might think. These are niche websites that DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY.

      The point of the investment is for market infiltration; Viacom is going "Oh shit, Murdock is kicking our ass on the internet we need
      • Do your understand the difference between what's occuring today and what occured six years ago?

        This is the same thing as when Microsoft takes a hit on the Xboxs...market infiltration you'll recoup your money from existing areas.

        Well, at least the crappy analogies some people come up with have stayed the same. Microsoft has grabbed a huge chunk out of a very limited market there and they actually sell something to their "users". How does that compare to a small chunk of the infinitely extensible web, wh

        • I wasn't attempting to say that what Viacom is attempting to do was intelligent nor was I saying that I agreed with Murdock's decision to buy MySpace. My point was that this is not indicative of a bubble bursting, when the internet stock bubble burst it was for the reasons you mentioned; Viacom has a business model and so does News Corp, and these acquisitions are merely a piece of that business model.

          Sometimes money has to be spent in order to just do business, and Viacom may feel that this is one of thos
    • Tell that to Google. It's not like money can be made from ads.

      I believe the last stats I read had MySpace user registration doubling every six months. They are rated number 8 on Alexa [alexa.com], only behind companies like Google, Yahoo, MSN and eBay.

      Perhaps the apparent business model of a social networking site isn't immediately obvious. That is, until, you think about what a media conglomerate like News Corp can do with such an active community. News Corp has holdings like Fox News and primetime shows like A
      • Tell that to Google. It's not like money can be made from ads.

        Google has a unique standing - almost a monopoly in the search engine market, which is (arguably) the only online market next to pure e-commerce enabling sites where advertising actually works to some extent. Also, they get almost everything right (no annoying Flash ads etc.).

        That is, until, you think about what a media conglomerate like News Corp can do with such an active community. News Corp has holdings like Fox News and primetime shows l

  • Facebook has their college side set up where faculty and staff can create an account as well as the students. On the high school side, only if you're a student; no option for faculty/staff.

    I e-mailed them once, since I administer an Internet filter in an educational environment, asking them if they would allow an option for high school staff to create an account just like they did with college faculty/staff. I've never received a reply.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:04PM (#15011466)
    > BusinessWeek reports that Facebook has turned down an offer for $750 million and is looking for 2 billion dollars. BusinessWeek reports that Facebook has turned down an offer for $750 million and is looking for 2 billion dollars.

    Great. So the future of business looks like this:

    sumredrok: yo
    facebk: yo!
    sumredrok: asm?
    facebk: 2/lots/watugot?
    sumredrok: 750m?
    facebk: up urs n00b
    sumredrok: wtf?
    facebk: 2b
    foxyrupert: pwn3d!

    "Capital, capital, everywhere, and no VCs who think."

  • How is a site like Facebook even worth $750 million?
    What kind of wealth does it generate?
    What kind of assets does it have?
    • by generic-man (33649)
      Facebook features a userbase of millions of sticky eyeballs which can be readily monetized using contextual advertising solutions that transcend the superficial and target the user's behavior.

      For example, they use their users' Google tracking cookies to determine which web sites they visit. Facebook can then deliver targeted advertisements that result in a very high clickthrough percentage relative to ordinary bannervertising.

      Facebook has also enabled rich media advertising for those who have tired of the
    • The only thing I can think of, is that it offers insight into the pulse of the youth community. Think of it as a gigantic data mining tool. They can know what is popular by running some queries.

  • There's only going to be one big winner in the 13-25 community space. Look at the massive inroads made by myspace.com. Hold out too long and the execs will end up delivering pizzas alongside the first wave of dot-com execs.
    • Having known Mark personally, I can assure you that even if he made nothing on facebook for some reason, it wouldn't be long before he came up with another great (and lucrative) idea and was offered a boatload of money for it.

      Heck, I remember when he and a friend created Synapse [slashdot.org] in 2003 and was offered something in the high 6-figure range to work on it for someone for a few years. If he hadn't turned that down he'd never have been able to do facebook.

      Bottom line -- don't doubt him. After all, he seems t

  • 2 Billion for facebook!?! Holy crap, the era of the dot com is back! I mean, seriously, facebook? You could completely duplicate that entire site with two college students working part time for a month, so maybe $10,000... THAT is the barrier to entry. Please let them spend 2 billion on this... That way my plan to sell pet food online won't seem to crazy.
    • PointCast had a hot idea in the '90s and failed to leap at a $450 million offer. Look what that got them.

      *Maybe* Facebook is different. I don't know it too well since I'm not on it.
    • eBay can be easily duplicated as well. But not its userbase. Incidentally.. name a dotcom era company that is still around and doing very well; shit I'll do it for you: eBay.
    • They're not buying a website. They're buying the eyeballs of most every (especially the trend setters) college student in America upwards of twenty times a day. I'd buy stock in Facebook if it was available, that site isn't going anywhere.
  • by bryz (730558)
    2 billion dollars? 750 million and they turned it down? This is the very cause for the Social Networking Backlash Techcrunch covered [techcrunch.com] like snubster.com [snubster.com] and isolatr.com [isolatr.com]
  • The value isn't in the tech... facebook is entrenched. Everyone is on facebook. Is that worth $2 bil? I dunno...
  • by tansey (238786) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:31PM (#15011683) Journal
    So here's what companies see when the learn about sites like Facebook or MySpace: - Huge number of people - Vast majority are under 25 - Rapid word of mouth and hype spreading Now they think to themselves: "WOW, it's just like a TV show that gets millions and millions of teenage viewers---imagine the advertising potential! We'll make a fortune!" Unfortunatly for them, they're wrong. Commercials and product placements on TV are wildly different from those on the internet. TV requires you to watch them, and things can be soaked in subliminally with relatively little effort on the advertiser's behalf. Why is this? It's because people's attention is focused on what's going on, and the advertisements just slip in there most of the time. It's a fairly benign form of advertisement if you're engrossed in the program. Websites like Facebook on the other hand would require advertisements to distract the users from what they want to do. Banner ads and flash animations don't blend into webpages like a race car driver wearing 800 different brand names or a supermodel drinking a soda on TV. All internet ads do is to cause frustration and resentment among the users towards the product. So, while I'm sure advertisers wish that they could keep the same strategies and ideas that they have been using in TV, film, and radio for the last 100 years--sorry, you can't. The internet doesn't work that way. --- Just my 2 cents.
  • Friendster is reportedly up for sale: 5 dollars.
    Google will pay someone to take Orkut off their hands, in Brazilian currency too!
  • by drew (2081) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:38PM (#15011729) Homepage
    Anyone here remember PointCast? What, never heard of them?

    They were going to be the next big thing 10 years ago. If I remember correctly, they were offered something $500 million for their company and turned it down. They said they would be 10 times that amount in a few years. Well, a few years came and went, and suddenly they were worth less than a tenth of that amount.

    Way to go, idiots. Newsflash: You're riding on a fad. Sell out when the fad is hot, because when it's gone you'll have nothing.

    Oh well, their loss.
    • They are selling out. They're just saying they want more. $2B and it's yours, no questions asked.

      It's a risk, but I think it's going to work. They'll get their $2B - they're popular enough right now that someone will stump up the cash.

  • facebook is big (Score:2, Informative)

    by motank (867244)
    walk around a university computer lab and everyone's on their facebooks all the time. people use it for class projects, to hook up, to organize parties, for everything. and when you get sick of it, you graduate, you might stop using it, but then a fresh new group of people sign up. it'll never be lame. and these are 18-22 yr olds, every company's dream audience..forever.

    $2 billion might be too much, but it's definitely a worthy investment if you're a gigantic media company. yea it might be cheaper to create
    • One thing you forget:

      The 18 - 22 year olds are a fickle bunch that will try anything once, and then ADHD will set it and it will get old and boring very soon. A $2 billion investment today will most surely mean a dried out resource 6 - 12 months from now as some new internet fad of the week rips through colleges and universities. Trends come and go on campus faster then Wall Street can figure out what they were in the first place.

      Think MP3.com, Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, Morpheus, Skype, etc, etc, etc. Al
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:53PM (#15011849) Homepage Journal
    They're looking for $2 billion? For a site that is nothing more than a glorified bulletin board?

    Apparently in 7 years peoples memories have fallen by the wayside.
  • Basically there's no technology to buy there, they're buying 2 billion dollars worth of ad space. They intend to use the site to ad/spam the crap out of the members (because where else is there a revenue stream with that site?) and then run it into the ground a la mp3.com. It is inevitable that the winners are the people who get the $2B, the people paying that are buying a particular demographic's attention for a few weeks until the demographic bails on the site, that's all.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @02:13PM (#15011983)
    Friendster was one of the earlier social networking attempts (its name derived from napster's brief file sharing success). When I first tried to use Friendster its servers were as slow as molasses. Facebook launched on Harvard's InterNet-2 capacity servers before going private.

    Second, Facebook has a simply defined social network- the school. On Friendster you have to build your own.

    Third is the luck of fads and momentum. Kids are notorious for following fads. Facebook was in the right place at the right time.
  • by Mo B. Dick (100537) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @02:41PM (#15012185) Homepage
    After reading some comments on here, it seems that some of you put facebook in the same category as myspace. Facebook is much better than Myspace and here is why.

    1. All facebook profiles are uniform. They are the same color and can only have one profile picture. This makes everything so much easier on the eyes. The pages load quicker and relevant information is easy to acquire. There aren't a million pictures, animated gifs, songs, videos all over the page.

    2. The majority of ads are text. Most of the ads are google type text ads, and only 1 or 2 ads are shown at a time. And here's the best part: The ads are usually bought by a student or local business. So instead of seeing huge flash ads for some shitty movie or band, you see relevant ads about a local bar special or someone who has a sub-lease available in their apartment.

    3. You have to be in College (or now high school) to join. Facebook requires you to have a college e-mail adddress to join. While I'm not saying every college student is perfect and a big winner in society, you have to face the fact that most people that are on myspace are huge losers. I'm talking about all of the people who work the dead-end minimum wage jobs, do drugs every night, just take webcam pictures of themselves, and are going nowhere in life. There is none of that on facebook.

    4. Information is not readily available to anyone who wants it. To view someone's profile you have to go to the same school as them. If you don't go to the same school you can still see that they have a profile, but you have to be added as their friend before you can actually see the profile. This greatly cuts down on all of the stalkers out there.

    5. Facebook is a legitmate communication tool. Many professors have embraced the technology and joined facebook. Even my college president (at the u of Iowa) is on it. I know many friends who now send messages to others on facebook instead of e-mail, citing the fact that most students will check their facebook messages more often than their e-mail. Myspace can't be used for communication except for saying things like "thanx 4 the add", "check out my new webcam pix", "damn baby u r so hot"

    There are probably even more comparisons I could make but I'm running late for class. Facebook hasn't been around quite as long as myspace, so I'm sure it doesn't have as many subscribers. I'm bettting though as years go and more people go to college the site will become much bigger than myspace. It's just so much cleaner and easier to use.

    I think selling facebook would be a huge mistake. The way it stands now, the site is run by a couple of students (or former students, they may have graduated) They've added many features, but have done it subtly. It seems like every time more functionality is added on myspace it just makes the profiles that much uglier. When it happens on facebook, it makes it that much more usable. I'm only afraid that if the wrong company buys the site, they will try to compete with myspace and try to turn facebook into another myspace. Sorry for the rant, but I hope that this post will enlighten some of the people who have just read about these sites but haven't actually been able to join the facebook.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Right on. As a recent college graduate I can also attest to the value of the site. However, one major advantage that facebook has is the ability to figure out who you hooked up with the night before. If you can just vaguely remember what she looked up then you don't even have to remember her name!

      We actually wanted to create a site at our university somewhat like this, but the privacy concerns wouldn't allow us. We had a couple of kids together that thought about doing it independant and now with the nu
  • playing catch up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by na641 (964251)
    sigh, when will these people learn that the net is in no way stagnant... as any long time user of these communities will tell you, dont expect any of them to be around for too long. instead of trying to play catch up with their competitors online, these large corporations should instead try to innovate (gasp!!) and perhaps start a new trend online. only then can they gain a real foothold.

    trust me... as soon as facebook becames 'corporate' people will flee from it.
  • by theheff (894014) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @04:09PM (#15012897)
    I see so many questions about why 2 billion dollars is being asked for the ownership of facebook... it's really quite simple. Aside from the pictures and messaging, each member of facebook can list interests, favorite quotes, books, movies, albums, etc etc etc. There is SO much information going around on facebook, and though it may appear useless by looking at just one individual site, the information from every facebook site is pretty meaningful to a marketer. Information is money, just look at google. Will all that data you'd be able to see trends, what products will work where, what's important to this generation, etc. The possibilities with facebook are enormous, and I'm actually surprised that it's not higher than 2 billion.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.

Working...