Would you like some FaceBook with your coffee?

Something tells me that Facebook is quickly become the most talked about company on the Internet. Even more so than Google, as it extends past just Google geeks and into the broader mainstream.

In the past week, I don’t think I’ve had a single conversation or meeting that Facebook wasn’t brought up in. Even when I’m having a nice dinner with my wife out in the town, the couple next to us is yapping on about Facebook! South Africa has nearly 5m Internet users, and only about 125k Facebook users, but it’s like everyone in the youth market (20-35’s) are talking about Facebook! And according to Alexa, FaceBook is the 2nd most accessed site in South Africa at the time of writing, with the 1st, being Google.

As if that wasn’t enough, Facebook.co.za (out local domain) is being (allegedly) cybersquatted and Facebook hasn’t even noticed yet! Not going to delve into this, but here are some other blogs about it.

The stats that Techcrunch recently reported on Facebook’s growth is astounding and it’s becoming a category killer in Social Networks. You cannot compare MySpace to Facebook – they are different beasts altogether.

Facebook’s API move was so significant that Venture Capitalists are launching Facebook Apps funds, which is a GREAT idea!!

Facebook is creating havocs in people’s relationships, but arguably, from my perspective, it’s exposing weaknesses and incompatibilities that already existed in their relationships. Here are some examples:

1. I know someone who’s significant other broke up with them because they found them using Facebook and saw all their ex’s.
2. I know someone who doesn’t tell their significant other about them and hides it…
3. I know someone who is not allowed to use Facebook by their married partner
4. I know someone who watches everything their partner does on Facebook looking for any hint of indiscretion.

This is getting a bit nuts, and I’m no relationship therapist, but I can say that people who are insecure about their partners using Facebook, might as well lock them up at home as well. A social network mimics real life networks and fills the void created by distance to friends and family. If you can’t trust or be trusted, you’re probably in the wrong relationship, so get over it and move on (yeah yeah, I know, often easier said than done!).

What does the future hold for Facebook? I’m not sure exactly, but I think it’s pretty big, due to the vast number of minds applying themselves to the platform.

Here is a suggestion for Facebook:

I have 500+ friends, and I don’t add people I don’t know to my profile. However, in those 500 friends, there are probably only like 10-20% that I really trust. I would the ability to be given points and be allowed to allocate points to my top 25 friends.

Best friend: 25 points
2nd Best : 24 points
3rd Best: 23 points

etc etc etc

This way, I would infer trust to those people that I do trust, and given a decent distribution, each user would have a different friend point allocation. Those people in the network with the highest points, would be given a higher “Trust Score”. This would far better enable me to use the Facebook Marketplace whilst shopping for goods and services, as I would know who I could trust and it would mimic the offline world trust aspects. Facebook can become the new eBay in this way, but creating a network where trust is established.

There is my contribution, now with a few million more suggestions, I can see how Facebook will rule the Internet :-)

The big question: Who is going to buy Facebook and for how much?

My bet: Microsoft for like $10bn… (because they just need to do SOMETHING – Live.com is not exactly keeping Larry & Sergei awake at night, but Facebook probably is!)

Comments

  1. Tyler says:

    It’s spreading like wildfire in SA. The youth are loving it. MySpace is out, Facebook is in.

  2. Dirk says:

    Totally agree, you’ll enjoy my latest blog post :-)

  3. Interestingly enough MySpace still has more users than Facebook ;o)

    The main difference lies in the user profile: MySpace users are generally less educated than Facebook users [1].

    “The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.”

    1 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/6236628.stm

  4. Chris M says:

    I’ve never seen something spread so quickly in my life!

  5. Tyler says:

    It’s spreading like wildfire in SA. The youth are loving it. MySpace is out, Facebook is in.

  6. Dirk says:

    Totally agree, you’ll enjoy my latest blog post :-)

  7. Interestingly enough MySpace still has more users than Facebook ;o)

    The main difference lies in the user profile: MySpace users are generally less educated than Facebook users [1].

    “The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.”

    1 – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/6236628.stm

  8. Chris M says:

    I’ve never seen something spread so quickly in my life!

  9. Tristan Owen says:

    Hey Vinny, I would love to know how you quantify a $10bn price tag. The price actually doesn’t matter, what I’m more interested in is the value that Facebook can offer a company like Microsoft or Google. Would they be buying their database, the potential/future ad revenue, market research, the use of their platform etc, and does that really equate to $10bn? How can that information be quantified?! Would love to hear your thoughts.

  10. Hey Tristan – I have an easy formula:

    1. Is it worth $1bn? Probably not.
    2. Is it worth $3bn? Probably.
    3. Will Zuckerberg sell for $3bn? Probably not.
    4. Would Google offer $5bn? Probably
    5. Would Microsoft double Google’s offer? Probably…

    $10bn is therefore the magic number :-)

  11. Chris M says:

    Great reply Vinny, it’s so very true though, finances work in such strange ways with things of this size!

  12. Tristan Owen says:

    lol! so in other words there’s absolutely nothing in it, no signs at all ;)

  13. No no, there is a lot in it, but there is no fundamental analysis as to why Facebook is worth “X”. This is War and war is not rational!

    It’s value is very much dependent on who is buying it!

  14. This week, there is a two page spread in the You magazine about Facebook. It, therefore, is spreading to the masses …The 125K number will now continue to rise as the “less connected, but still active” web users are going to give it a shot.

  15. Tristan Owen says:

    Hey Vinny, I would love to know how you quantify a $10bn price tag. The price actually doesn’t matter, what I’m more interested in is the value that Facebook can offer a company like Microsoft or Google. Would they be buying their database, the potential/future ad revenue, market research, the use of their platform etc, and does that really equate to $10bn? How can that information be quantified?! Would love to hear your thoughts.

  16. Hey Tristan – I have an easy formula:

    1. Is it worth $1bn? Probably not.
    2. Is it worth $3bn? Probably.
    3. Will Zuckerberg sell for $3bn? Probably not.
    4. Would Google offer $5bn? Probably
    5. Would Microsoft double Google’s offer? Probably…

    $10bn is therefore the magic number :-)

  17. Chris M says:

    Great reply Vinny, it’s so very true though, finances work in such strange ways with things of this size!

  18. Tristan Owen says:

    lol! so in other words there’s absolutely nothing in it, no signs at all ;)

  19. No no, there is a lot in it, but there is no fundamental analysis as to why Facebook is worth “X”. This is War and war is not rational!

    It’s value is very much dependent on who is buying it!

  20. This week, there is a two page spread in the You magazine about Facebook. It, therefore, is spreading to the masses …The 125K number will now continue to rise as the “less connected, but still active” web users are going to give it a shot.

  21. Eishman says:

    I tried to resist, but couldn’t. What I like about it is it’s net interface and the fact that you can be as active or inactive as you like. And I have found so many people I would never have found, or bothered to find any other way.

  22. Eishman says:

    I tried to resist, but couldn’t. What I like about it is it’s net interface and the fact that you can be as active or inactive as you like. And I have found so many people I would never have found, or bothered to find any other way.

  23. Gino Cosme says:

    Hi Vinny. I agree that Microsoft is probably desperate to get hold of Facebook, especially in lieu that they need a larger, targeted audience and that this would be a very good fit for their recent acquisition of aQuantive.

    Personally though, as I mentioned in my blog a while back, I have a feeling that Mark won’t sell out. Especially, as you say, Facebook is becoming the most talked about Web property at the moment, even greater than Google. But, having said that, if he were to sell out, Larry and co would be silly not to beat Microsoft, considering that Facebook would be a good fit with Google’s other product offerings.

    At the end of the day, whoever gets Facebook will (a) be smiling from ear to ear and (b) will go down in history as being part of the largest Internet acquisition ever…until the next “big thing” of course ;)

    But will Mark sell?

    P.s. good points on the personal relationships aspect of Facebook.

  24. charl says:

    Zuckerberg wont sell to Microsoft or to anyone for that matter. I he wants to keep the site independant and go the IPO route

    Well, atleast thats what I have read. Myspace seemed to tumble down when News Corp acquired them

    SA has more than 125k Facebook users as a lot of the peeps dont join the SA network..

    Overall facebook is on 30 mil active users (ppl that login once a month)

  25. […] been doing some reading today and came across Facebook valuations of $10 billion and rumors that Mark Zuckerberg could sell to Microsoft for $6 billion. But let’s not forget that […]

  26. Gino Cosme says:

    Hi Vinny. I agree that Microsoft is probably desperate to get hold of Facebook, especially in lieu that they need a larger, targeted audience and that this would be a very good fit for their recent acquisition of aQuantive.

    Personally though, as I mentioned in my blog a while back, I have a feeling that Mark won’t sell out. Especially, as you say, Facebook is becoming the most talked about Web property at the moment, even greater than Google. But, having said that, if he were to sell out, Larry and co would be silly not to beat Microsoft, considering that Facebook would be a good fit with Google’s other product offerings.

    At the end of the day, whoever gets Facebook will (a) be smiling from ear to ear and (b) will go down in history as being part of the largest Internet acquisition ever…until the next “big thing” of course ;)

    But will Mark sell?

    P.s. good points on the personal relationships aspect of Facebook.

  27. charl says:

    Zuckerberg wont sell to Microsoft or to anyone for that matter. I he wants to keep the site independant and go the IPO route

    Well, atleast thats what I have read. Myspace seemed to tumble down when News Corp acquired them

    SA has more than 125k Facebook users as a lot of the peeps dont join the SA network..

    Overall facebook is on 30 mil active users (ppl that login once a month)

  28. Richard Craib says:

    There is this facebook app called Top Friends (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2425101550)

    Quite a few of my friends are using it. I think it’s sorta what you want. Is Henk a facebook friend of yours? He told me you invested in him. You can check Top Friends working on his profile page.

  29. Richard Craib says:

    There is this facebook app called Top Friends (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id…)

    Quite a few of my friends are using it. I think it’s sorta what you want. Is Henk a facebook friend of yours? He told me you invested in him. You can check Top Friends working on his profile page.

  30. […] revenue. In 12 months Facebook saw a 89% increase in users. Now people are curious to know who will buy […]

  31. Mike Mothner says:

    It is truly amazing to think that a small website that began as a member only site restricted to students at Harvard has now become one of the top ten websites in 2007. With over 30 million members and an ever-increasing induction of new “face-bookers”, I believe Vinny’s prediction that Facebook could sell for over 10 billion is highly probable. The question that still remains unanswered is who will be the lucky buyer…

  32. Mike Mothner says:

    It is truly amazing to think that a small website that began as a member only site restricted to students at Harvard has now become one of the top ten websites in 2007. With over 30 million members and an ever-increasing induction of new “face-bookers”, I believe Vinny’s prediction that Facebook could sell for over 10 billion is highly probable. The question that still remains unanswered is who will be the lucky buyer…

  33. […] Lingham Powered by Gregarious (21)Last month, I made the “way out” prediction that Facebook would be sold for $10bn, probably to Microsoft. A couple of my readers asked for justification, and I basically gave the […]

  34. […] revenue. In 12 months Facebook saw a 89% increase in users. Now people are curious to know who will buy […]

  35. Steven Jack says:

    It is truly amazing to think that a small website that began as a member only site restricted to students at Harvard has now become one of the top ten websites in 2007.In 12 months Facebook saw a 89% increase in users.
    http://www.goldenteahouse.com/

  36. Jobjabman says:

    Thanks, great article to read.

  37. Blog Tips says:

    thank you for sharing

  38. Well posted by Vinny Lingham. Thanks for sharing. would you like coffee with me? -:)

  39. I have a feeling that Mark won’t sell out. Especially, as you say, Facebook is becoming the most talked about Web property at the moment, even greater than Google. But, having said that, if he were to sell out, Larry and co would be silly not to beat Microsoft, considering that Facebook would be a good fit with Google’s other product offerings.