You couldn’t really describe the Microsoft investment in Facebook as breaking news, the story seems to have been going on for weeks. The final outcome, a 1.6% stake for $240 million, valueing Facebook at $15 billion. If Facebook is worth $15 billion, then I’m the Queen of Sheba.
Whilst I think that it is an outrageous price, it will probably work out quite well for Microsoft as it will tie Facebook into their adverts for the forseeable future. Whereas I don’t think it is necessarily a good deal for Facebook, they should have sold a little bit more whilst they had the chance, their stock is unlikely to be riding this high forever and they need to capitalise on it ASAP. Zuckerberg talks about going public in two years, by which point it will probably be worth half as much.
The other big social networking sites are going to continue innovating, new social networking sites will enter the market, the mobile market is going to become increasingly important, and teens are going to decide they want to hang out somewhere different to their parents. The market is constantly shifting, but the $15billion price tag seems to reflect a continued status quo. Yesterday Techcrunch published the growth rates of a number of different social sites, and the fastest by far is IMEEM a site that has managed to pass me by up to now. Whilst I have yet to have a close look at IMEEM, it serves to illustrate the point about emerging sites; it may be the next big thing, it may not, the point is nothing will stay the same.
However the future of social networking pans out, one thing is for sure: Rupert Murdoch got MySpace for a bargain price.