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Facebook Nearly Added Twitter To Friends List

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the in-today's-dollars-that-would-be-trillions dept.

Social Networks 124

nandemoari writes "It seems the world's most popular social networking site was just moments away from acquiring another — and few of us ever knew about it. A Facebook executive has revealed that a planned takeover of Twitter only fell apart because of a disagreement over stock valuations. Despite the rather miserable economy, Facebook is still looking to buy out other firms and says it could make a billion dollars a year from advertising. Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist who put up some of the money behind Facebook, discussed the deal in a Business Week interview. Thiel says the two sides agreed a $500 million purchase price and that Twitter would receive the payment in Facebook stock rather than cash — which is a common solution in large takeovers where there simply isn't the money available for a buyout."

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Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough walk. (5, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041091)

Facebook [...] says it could make a billion dollars a year from advertising

Go on then.

I could say I can make eleventy dollars a furlong from my blog; that doesn't make it true. Only a dribbling moron would base a business decision (such as exchanging their website for stock) on such a claim.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041117)

So much money for something to trivial and useless...

Makes me feel kind of sick...

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041137)

Facebook? Or my blog? ;)

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041181)

Tweeter or Shiver or whatever the hell that inane "Now I'm on the bus and it's raining" service is called...

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042033)

As inane as it is, you have to admit that when you have Senators and Representatives in DC [google.com] , it's worth money. [tweetcongress.org]

Furby's were inane too.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (5, Insightful)

princessproton (1362559) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043675)

Furbys were inane too.

And look what happened to them...

Fads are great if you think you will be able to capitalize quickly on your investment, but you don't want to be stuck holding the bag when it's all over. Web fads are even more volatile because, unlike tangible goods, there is no "collector's market" after popularity wanes. All you have is a defunct, devalued service that can no longer command the ad revenue to support itself.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042107)

Twitter and the twits that use it can be used to do incredibly powerful data mining and forecasting. If you just analyze the twits coming in (I like to refer both to users and their messages by this term, it is slightly confusing but makes sense in its own way - and often, the difference is unimportant) then you can find out all kinds of things, like (to borrow from your example) where in a city it is raining, or where automobile accidents have occurred, or where the police are beating someone to death, or where the police are being beaten to death, or whatever the fuck is going on! Forget predicting flu outbreak with google, that is way too slow and has far too little resolution. :)

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (2, Funny)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042421)

Don't forget using Twit data mining to determine facility usage [penny-arcade.com] !

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (5, Insightful)

elfstones (177191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041159)

No matter how trivial and useless it may be, a lot people use the site. If a lot of people use the site, corporations want to advertise there. Thus the money thing....

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041499)

90% of the peopel that use twitter never go to the site they use the API to post and read the messages through an application.

Any ad's would not be seen unless they start figuring they will simply spam all the users as ad tweets.

The next day twitter will have no users.

they could probably still make some money at it (0)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042135)

I'm not sure if it's worth the $500m price being thrown around, but if Twitter's only goal was to make some money without totally alienating its users, it doesn't seem that hard. Put a few ads on the website, and even if only 10% of users go to the website, it's still quite a few. Offer a few minor premium services for $5/mo. Etc.

It's not really that hard to make money at Web 2.0 (or even Web 1.0). The companies that fail are the ones that try to exploit it too greedily and drive off their users. I mean, Craigslist is probably a poster boy for the totally minimalist style of monetization (i.e. do it as little as possible), and they still pull in a good $200m a year or so.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042305)

Would you mind citing your source for that "90% of Twitter users use the API" fact?

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (2, Interesting)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044387)

http://twitter.com/public_timeline [twitter.com]

Although it looks like about 75% of users are using the API.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043039)

10% of a lot is still a lot and most of the 90% at least occasionally hit the website. As a network those 90% add a lot of value even if they are not advertised to directly, and as the system gets more mainstream it will also get more webbased, so that 10% could grow to 20 or even 50%.

additionally twitter ads can be very targeted .'. profitable

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043657)

exactly. i just wish i could come up with a trivial and inane idea that would make ME rich. remember the guy with the pet rock? i'd have to say the iphone app store is full of pet rocks. sure, bash the people that use/buy these things, but the developer is laughing all the way to the bank...

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041291)

What is it about about your iPhone, Wii, BlackBerry or power locks on your car that aren't trivial?

Welcome to the economy where triviality is worth trillions of dollars a year.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041527)

What is it about about your iPhone, Wii, BlackBerry or power locks on your car that aren't trivial? Welcome to the economy where triviality is worth trillions of dollars a year.

My what?

Sorry, don't own any of that junk. Power locks... that's funny, I haven't locked a door in years.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (3, Funny)

cencithomas (721581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041973)

that's funny, I haven't locked a door in years.

...and what's your address again?

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (2, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042075)

It doesn't matter; bridges traditionally aren't built with doors. Having a troll living under them makes them inherently secure.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042119)

I think that's what he was implying by the power locks bit...

Obligatory "12345?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27043433)

That's the combination on my luggage!

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (-1, Redundant)

sveard (1076275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042883)

Kind of like John Lennon, and then he died

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041155)

sure facebook could make a billion of advertisements, but will they? and how much extra value would twitter add to the facebook advertisement driven plan? I follow twitter on my phone - i see no ads, and i seldom click on any on the web-based facebook. But, even if I did, twitter does not seem, to me at least, to conform easily into an ad-driven site, especially when people would be using it to update their tweet from their phone.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

QuietR10t (1125965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041461)

Facebook [...] says it could make a billion dollars a year from advertising

Go on then.

I'm pretty sure they're referring to the amounts of money they'll get if/when they sell all the users' private data to those online pharmacies and the likes.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041697)

'... all the users' private data ...

Private data? On Facebook?

What are you smoking? ;^)

you're not a very good businessman (2, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041525)

hey, did you know they beam radio and television signals out in the air for free?

and its an profitable venture

twitter, as a new kind of media, is simply in the stages of establishing itself

google also was heavily used and made no revenue for a long time

once a media's userbase is large and stable enough, advertising can be injected, and lots of cash can be made

the media business is not like manufacturing, like making and selling cupcakes, where you spend a little money and immediately get a little money back

its more like mining gold: you have a huge upfront investment in infrastructure, but then, over time, the initial investment begins to pay off, in dribs and drabs at first, but then to an increasingly louder roar, for a very long time

Re:you're not a very good businessman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27044473)

its more like mining gold: you have a huge upfront investment in infrastructure, but then, over time, the initial investment begins to pay off, in dribs and drabs at first, but then to an increasingly louder roar, for a very long time

I understand your point, but there is something I have to know... Did you intend to mix-up at least three metaphors in a single sentence, or is this mere happenstance?

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041859)

Facebook [...] says it could make a billion dollars a year from advertising

Go on then.

I could say I can make eleventy dollars a furlong from my blog; that doesn't make it true. Only a dribbling moron would base a business decision (such as exchanging their website for stock) on such a claim.

Twitter doesn't know how to make money either. Twitter's best hope is to be bought by some other company so the owners can cash out. Of course, if they're bought by someone who only makes "theoretical" money like Facebook, and only paid in stock, they won't be any better off. However, if they never get bought out by anyone, their theoretical billions of dollars will never materialize into real money, because their service is very difficult to monetize.

Facebook is at least still mostly accessed via web browser, so there's the opportunity for ad revenue there. Twitter, on the other hand, is mostly accessed via small mobile phone apps, where it's much more difficult to advertise without causing the users so much pain that they end up dropping the service.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042219)

Can't they take the stock, then immediately sell it? (I have no idea how stocks work)

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044799)

I am not positive, but...

1) Even if Facebook were a public company, there may be a limitation on how soon they can sell (e.g. similar to selling limits after an IPO).
2) Since Facebook isn't sold publically, at best I believe they could sell to other insiders, but even that is limited.

Re:Facebook are a bit too much talk, not enough wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27043247)

Are you disputing their figure or just saying you don't believe any numbers anyone says? What's your point?

Websites come and go (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041129)

Everyone is so hot for Facebook these days, but a year or two ago it was all anyone could do to not jizz themselves over MySpace. These things come and go, websites get hot, then fade away.

I just got a message from MSN groups that some group I had subscribed to a few years ago was going to be deleted. No big deal, I've moved on and found other places where I can post intelligent comments and engage in lively banter.

There is so little that is static about the Web. Facebook is right to strike now and make as much money as they can while the sun shines, because a year or two from now they will be a bad memory.

Re:Websites come and go (4, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041183)

I've moved on and found other places where I can post intelligent comments and engage in lively banter

You have? Why don't you post them here too then? ;)

Re:Websites come and go (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041543)

so uh, how many times are you going to post in this one discussion? if it's a lot, can at least one of them be a nigger joke?

Re:Websites come and go (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042847)

Amazingly enough, I still have no idea what Twitter even looks like...

Somehow I've managed to avoid it for some reason that I cannot explain.

Re:Websites come and go (3, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041199)

I was under the impression that facebook was late maturity/early decline stage.

Very soon something "old that's new again" will come along for people to jizz themselves over.

Re:Websites come and go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041633)

You are absolutely correct. Two years ago Myspace was already half gone. Same thing with Facebook today. The markets are really bad at this game, only investing serious capital after the peak, when there is no real money to be made.

Re:Websites come and go (5, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041257)

I'm not so sure. Yes, that has been true of most other social networking sites. However I think Facebook is more of a unique case. They are the first site I think that could finally get it right. They have consistently thought about how to keep people on board by adding things that enhance the value of social networking to their users rather than just being fancy looking useless features. Facebook has the broadest appeal currently. MySpace was never that popular with older folks (probably because of the mind numbing psychedelic layouts), but they have come to use Facebook.

Something better might still come along, but its going to have to be pretty good, and I don't see it completely replacing Facebook in a year.

Re:Websites come and go (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041685)

My mid-late 30s female coworkers are all myspace. I think they like the pimped out glitter look.

Re:Websites come and go (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041789)

So, what's it like to work in a brothel for the elderly?

Re:Websites come and go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27043621)

I agree. My mom, my dad (age 50), my uncle, my great uncle, my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law all have facebook accounts and use it regularly.

My mom is as computer illiterate as they come, and yet she uses facebook. I think facebook will be around for quite a while and it has a very large revenue potential if managed correctly.

Re:Websites come and go (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044643)

Something better?

I think there are still a lot of people out there who have one of those "real lives" with "real friends" that don't require them to post lots of useless crap about themselves (though there is certainly no shortage of egoistic loons posting their every "deep thought") or to read random crap written by people they barely know.

I've been on FaceBook a total of maybe an hour since I signed up (at the urging of an old high-school friend) and I just don't see any value. I don't really care that some guy whose cousin once dated the sister of a girl I knew in grade school is watching American Idol. And I'm not interested in "befriending" some third-rate "actor" because we once lived in the same town.

Whether the "something better" is another site, or just an actual real life, I'm betting that FaceBook isn't the be-all, end-all of socialization.

Unique? Not really (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044975)

Get it right? Hardly. Facebook is no different than MySpace and other johnny-come-latelys that define the internet.

When you make sweeping changes to your site and receive nothing but criticism from the majority of users (think less Terms of Service fiasco, more "we changed the layout to serve more advertisements" fiasco), it is obvious you are on the outs and hit your peak a while back. In sites that are "up-and-coming," those kind of big changes are welcomed as the, "We're getting bigger and better," scenario instead of f-ups.

Being popular with the older crowd doesn't give you staying power (typically means you are going to stagger on like a zombie for a while until these newer members move on). How well did AOL do with the green Internet users this decade? I'd say the acceptance of Facebook by greater numbers is the ultimate sign that the original members already moved on and the death knell has begun.

Re:Websites come and go (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041301)

What're you basing this on?
Message boards have been around since the dawn of the web. They're still going strong. You can just look at Facebook as an upgraded form of message board. It makes communications comparatively easier than email, and instant messaging. So I don't really see how it's going to wind up being a bad memory. Unless they really bugger things up and determine that they've been selling peoples credit card numbers to terrorists. Even then, I doubt people would care..

Re:Websites come and go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27042031)

I think you're making his point.

Message boards have existed since the time of the BBS. That's nothing new. But are you posting on the same message boards you were using 10 years ago? 5 years ago? Heck even 2 years ago?

The point is that the web will always have lots of outlets for messaging, discussion, and thus social-networking. But the actual sites that are 'hot' at any given time keep changing. Sites stagnate and even deteriorate (lack of upkeep, spam, changing community, etc.). New sites are created that fix the problems of the old ones, and people flock to them. Eventually those sites also deteriorate.

Now I would argue that Facebook is doing a decent job of staying relevant. They are adding features and revising the site frequently enough that their userbase continues to grow. They are also doing lots of things to make it slightly painful for people to leave. ("But I've already uploaded and tagged all my photos on Facebook... I don't want to have to do that all over again!") Yet there is no guarantee that this will continue forever. In fact it probably won't. At some point some new site (or maybe some new idea/technology...) will appear, and it will be somehow better... and people will migrate. Or (and maybe this is more likely), Facebook will try to "over-monetize" their user base (e.g. too many ads), which will piss people off, and they will move to some other site.

The Internet is constantly changing. In 10 years, Facebook will either have radically changed itself to keep up with the shifting trends... or it will be gone.

Re:Websites come and go (3, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042331)

Message boards have existed since the time of the BBS. That's nothing new. But are you posting on the same message boards you were using 10 years ago? 5 years ago? Heck even 2 years ago?

Well, I'm pretty sure I've been on Slashdot for six or seven years now...

Re:Websites come and go (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043563)

Well, I'm pretty sure I've been on Slashdot for six or seven years now...

what, only 6-7 years? ;-)

There's nothing wrong with posting on the same boards for many years, as long as enough similarly-minded people stick around. Sadly, Usenet is pretty much dead nowdays anf far too many people jump on the newest fad bandwagon (such as twitter/facebook).

Re:Websites come and go (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044605)

Me too, but I never read or post here any more.

Re:Websites come and go (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042861)

Everyone is so hot for Facebook these days, but a year or two ago it was all anyone could do to not jizz themselves over MySpace. These things come and go, websites get hot, then fade away.

It's not web sites, but social networks which behave like that. As I've pointed out before, social networking sites have a life cycle, just like nightclubs. They open, they may become cool and grow, they become popular, the losers move in, the cool people move out, and they decline. Has-been social networks include AOL, GeoCities, EZboard, Friendster, Salon, Nerve, Tribe, and MySpace. Alexa traffic stats bear this out; most of those peaked years ago; Myspace peaked in Q1 2008.

From an investment perspective, social networking sites have to pay off within a small number of years, or they're toast. Facebook might have gone public several years ago; now it's too late. There were, I think, two tech IPOs in 2008, and those were early in the year.

I expect that almost all the money-losing free services will disappear, or go into zombie mode like Tribe (two employees left) before the end of the year.

Zombie mode, incidentally, is the fate of many venture-funded startups. They can't make anywhere near enough money to pay off their investors, but, after shrinking, they can generate enough cash to cover their current bills.

Amusingly, nightclubs come and go, but strip clubs are forever. Similarly, dating sites have very long lives, much longer than social networks.

Re:Websites come and go (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042867)

I think the death of MySpace was pretty widely visible.

90% of its user base HATED using it. It was a terrible webpage. And it was incredibly limiting. 10 pictures? What is this?

Facebook is a photo app. I thought that the first time I used it, and have felt pretty backed up by that statement ever since.

The first time I used facebook was to put up photos and the ability to tag people and associate it with profiles is what I found incredibly useful. (Not to mention unlimited photo uploads was handy.)

Facebook is going to survive because it's going to be a friends and family photo album + event planning.

MySpace is awkward public text messaging. The novelty for everyone not female 12-18 wears off very quickly. Facebook on the other hand actually appeals to people of all ages and demographics.

What are you doing right now? (1)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041133)

Hmmm?

Re:What are you doing right now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041263)

I'm on SlashDot, and it's snowing, and I have to go to the bathroom.

Re:What are you doing right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041377)

I'm trying to design an arc furnace for silicon. It's a bitch.

Re:What are you doing right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041417)

I'm replying to a comment on Slashdot. Now I'm clicking the Preview button. And now I am clicking the Submit button.

Re:What are you doing right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27042259)

I am clicking on the submit button right NO

Advertising revenue (5, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041277)

Okay, first a disclaimer: I'm not a marketing expert with five hundred years experience and zero percent APR. I am a graphic designer, however. Here's the thing about advertising revenue. There's payment for the ad to be displayed, and there's a return on investment. The cost to run an advertising campaign can be from a few hundred dollars to ten million dollars, depending on medium, placement, demographic, etc. And almost always, the revenue stream does grow from a well-done marketing campaign. But there is never a way to prove causation. That is to say, an external factor could have accounted for all the extra business that cannot be accounted for. There is not, and never has been, a direct link between advertising and improved revenue. Of course, there will be people who try to tell you otherwise -- and it's conventional wisdom that it does help. What nobody can predict though is impact. I can't say with a much confidence that if I invest 1 million dollars in a marketing campaign I will see a 3 million dollar increase in gross revenues over the next 12 months. Improve, yes, how much -- who knows.

My point is this -- nobody who knows what they're talking about will quote numbers, not this way at any rate. A billion dollars is a pipe dream.

Re:Advertising revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041765)

Ever heard of Direct Marketing?
Those in that industry would take notice with much of what you're saying with regard to their industry at least. Not that I'd know, but I've been forced to listen to my roommate drone on and on about this very thing.
If he's not getting $1.50 back for every dollar spent he moves the his advertising campaign to another station.

Re:Advertising revenue (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041849)

You're comparing chalk and cheese. Facebook aren't talking about increased revenue from advertising themselves; they're talking about revenue from selling advertising space. Which is much more predictable (credit crunch notwithstanding).

Re:Advertising revenue (2, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042309)

The cost to run an advertising campaign can be from a few hundred dollars to ten million dollars, depending on medium, placement, demographic, etc. And almost always, the revenue stream does grow from a well-done marketing campaign. But there is never a way to prove causation. That is to say, an external factor could have accounted for all the extra business that cannot be accounted for. There is not, and never has been, a direct link between advertising and improved revenue.

Someone once said "I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half."

Re:Advertising revenue (1)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042509)

If you do things right you can track your advertising impact. Many ads have 'click codes' embedded in the URL, on sites I've worked on we registered in the DB when someone clicked in from an ad site, we kept that info in a cookie and tracked it as they viewed products, and added it to the invoice when they made purchases, we could directly link the number of people who clicked that ad, browsed the product catalog, and purchased items from the website.

It's not hard to do, it's just a lot of little steps going on in the background to track the info.

Re:Advertising revenue (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042737)

If you do things right you can track your advertising impact. Many ads have 'click codes' embedded in the URL, on sites I've worked on we registered in the DB when someone clicked in from an ad site, we kept that info in a cookie and tracked it as they viewed products, and added it to the invoice when they made purchases, we could directly link the number of people who clicked that ad, browsed the product catalog, and purchased items from the website.

Which isn't much different than people coming in with clipped-out coupons. Yes, there's some information available. I'm not arguing that, there are ways to estimate, there is data available, but what I am saying is that these are edge cases. I don't think many people would suggest using that as their sole source of information to gauge the success of a campaign. The process is simply too organic... It's measured with margins of error and includes soft factors like "consumer confidence". I can't say with certainty ahead of time that a given advertisement, if viewed by 10,000 people, will attract 30 new sales, or 300 new sales. Retrospectively, I can estimate from available data that maybe 10-50 new sales were generated. Disclaimer: These numbers though are purely demonstrative, they have no empirical foundation.

Re:Advertising revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27043521)

Welcome to Pornography marketing 101, circa 1999-today.

Apart from a very brief flirtation with CPC, we run on CPA marketing, where advertising campaigns are rewarded based on the sales made (tracked by link codes). Shockingly enough, we find this helps us plan our budgets.

Ever wondered why there are so many crappy 'free porn' sites out there (with long convoluted links out from them)

Hmm.. (5, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041283)

...Twitter would receive the payment in Facebook stock rather than cash -- which is a common solution in large takeovers where there simply isn't any intrinsic value in either company

There, fixed that for you

Re:Hmm.. (3, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041349)

There's huge value in any website with millions of daily visitors.

If you had said "proven, long-term, sustainable value", then I might agree.

Re:Hmm.. (1, Troll)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041439)

There's no intrinsic value in any website with millions of daily visitors.

There, fixed that for you too

disagree on that (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041955)

A website with millions of daily visitors has some non-zero intrinsic value, even without considering any potential revenue streams, just due to the fact that there are a lot of people out there who like soapboxes, and something with millions of visitors has value as a good soapbox.

I would personally pay at least $50 for Twitter if nobody else outbid me, just so I could own it and fuck around with it. Probably other wealthy people would pay more for similar vanity or having-fun-with-it reasons.

Re:disagree on that (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042567)

Yea, the intrinsic value is a whopping huge bill for servers and bandwidth and employees. I wouldn't pay 50 bucks for Twitter, because I'd go broke long before I figured out how to monetize it.

Having a zillion page views is nothing but a liability if no-one wants to pay for ads or services.

Re:disagree on that (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043791)

Please review the economic/finance definition for intrinsic value [investopedia.com]

already done (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044047)

"The actual value of a company or an asset based on an underlying perception of its true value including all aspects of the business, in terms of both tangible and intangible factors."

A site with millions of daily visitors has a non-zero intangible value.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043605)

There's huge value in any website with millions of daily visitors.

That is true, it means that most of these visitors get what they wanted. However, it also means a huge cost (most of the time) and not everything that has value can be turned into a healthy business.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

reashlin (1370169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041909)

Actually Facebook is probably could be claimed as being worth whatever the feck their servers etc. Advertising potential to one side. The worth of their physical presence is probably quite substantial.

Twitter has economic value? (3, Insightful)

LargeWu (766266) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041347)

Last time I checked, Twitter was free to use and does not have advertising. In other words, its income cannot be anything more than a trivial amount. It's true value is probably a lot closer to $0 than to $500 million.

This is how the dot.com boom of the 90's happened. Users != revenue or profitability.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (5, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041475)

It does not have advertising YET. Plus, you can always make a company account and post PR crap(which several companies do already) for the cost of manhours.

Also, it is easily mine-able. Several companies are already integrating twitter into their analytics packages so that you can see whenever someone mentions a keyword(ie Time-Warner), when it appears with other words(ie Time-Warner+internet+sucks), who says it(ie me), and how many people are follow that twit(nobody). You can also map relationships and reach easily, compared to websites, and pinpoint people to consider bribing

Advertising, PR, & research goldmine.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042865)

Also, it is easily mine-able.

Everyone thought the same thing about myspace. They quickly learned that they were wrong. The problem is that, while there is a wealth of data there, the data is worthless. Nobody CARES that you're "taking a poo in the loo, haha!", there is no value there.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27043047)

There is plenty of value, it's just not the majority of the data. The secret is to be able to separate the good stuff from the dross, which is just another analytics problem.

The question is whether or not that's a viable revenue stream, and whether or not the users will stand to be data-mined in that fashion.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (1)

floorgoblin (869743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041485)

While the company may not have anywhere near that amount in revenue currently, that does not mean it doesn't have value. I'm sure Facebook's intention was to integrate Twitter with its existing ad platform, which could bring in a large amount of revenue considering the size of Twitter's user base. Its about potential value, not necessarily intrinsic value.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (3, Insightful)

LargeWu (766266) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041681)

I'll say it again, this is EXACTLY what happened about 10 years ago. Investors started throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at websites without bothering to contemplate the fact that they didn't have a business model, and most of them failed for obvious reasons.

Consider also, that even if Twitter does start to accept advertising, nobody is going to see it. Why? Because a lot of Twitter users (most?) use 3rd party clients, especially the hardcore users. And you know everybody is going to use clients that don't bother them with ads.

Re:Twitter has economic value? (1)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042255)

And you know everybody is going to use clients that don't bother them with ads.

Sure... seen any non-slashdot-user using ICQ or MSN lately?

Re:Twitter has economic value? (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042761)

The lose money on every Tweet, but they make up for it in volume.

Like the poster below says, I think their value, if any, might be in the mine-ability of the info rather than the potential for ads.

As far as I'm concerned.. (1)

staryc (852301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041389)

Twitter *is* the poor man's Facebook. Whenever I introduce Twitter to people and they ask me what it is--I reply, "It basically only gives you the option of making status updates like Facebook, and that's pretty much it."

Twitter is a bit more professional for updating coworkers, relatives, friends, and generally everyone by the single fact that you're also not able to look at last weekend's crazy drunk fest. I don't understand why Facebook would want to take over Twitter, except for the fact of spreading around more ownership and advertisements.

Re:As far as I'm concerned.. (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041569)

It basically only gives you the option of making status updates like Facebook, and that's pretty much it.

And to answer questions, with 35 characters to spare!

Re:As far as I'm concerned.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27041845)

Twitter is superior because it is searchable, tagable, and is an open network.

What sold me on Twitter was how early the Mumbai story broke due to the word "Mumbai" skyrocketing up in tweet frequency. Facebook doesn't have that...yet

ah, Peter Thiel (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041447)

Is that Peter "there's absolutely no bubble in technology" Thiel? Good luck [youtube.com] with that...

Re:ah, Peter Thiel (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041519)

It's arguably correct; there is no technology-specific bubble. The world's economies are all looking shaky right now, not least because everyone whose economy is not directly tied to the US is heavily involved with someone who is. It seems more like the tech jobs are decreasing mostly in proportion to economic activity in general. The jobs just happen to be leaving the USA, so from a Yertle the Turtle kind of viewpoint it looks like tech is going in the toilet. Well, maybe it is, but no more than anything else.

to some extent (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041815)

I think there was a (mostly popped) bubble of speculative investment in Web 2.0 type companies, where VCs would throw money at anything with "social media" in the title. Around 2006-2008 it didn't take a lot of effort or a very plausible-sounding business plan to get backing in that space.

It's less visible in valuations than the late-90s bubble was, because this time around most of the companies never IPOd, and there were fewer to begin with. But I guess we could speculate as to their current values. Bebo was acquired for $850m; what's it worth today? What about Skype; is it still worth the $2.5b that it was acquired for? Many of the companies that did IPO in the past few years are down much more than the stock-market average; e.g. VMWare is down 80%.

Twitbook (1)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041471)

98.5% of companies got this takeover wrong. Are you smarter than Facebook? Take our survey to find out!

bullshit (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041535)

all they are doing is trying to increase the market value of their company before getting bought up.

Tired of this nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041777)

From TFS:
 

Despite the rather miserable economy, Facebook is still looking to buy out other firms

Y'know, I'm getting tired of this... Yeah, the economy is bad - but life goes on people. You won't survive the bad economy, let alone grow when times turn good again, if you just circle the wagons and try to ride it out.

Before i get scooped on this article below... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27041985)

Related to facebook.... (I won't bother posting in my journal since i won't get the opportunity/fact of being presented anyway...)

"Facebook users suffer viral surge "
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7918839.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Once a frackingain, facebook needs to get off its ass and create a better, more public, more user-controlled anti-rogue apps procedure. It's NOT enough to "refer to the user security/privacy guide.

facebook's rank policy of allowing any app you add ALL ACCESS to your profile, friends, and such is specious and set up for sheer access to advert revenues. There should be granular access control for EACH AND EVERY APP USERS ADD. NO EXCUSES.

and few of us ever knew about it (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042125)

Well thanks for correcting that - I shudder to think what would've happened if I continued to not know about annoying internet thing A's thoughts on annoying internet thing B.

@twitter: (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042175)

sorry, i had to take a dump.

Some choice quotes since none of you RTFA (1)

sat1308 (784251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042271)

Emphasis mine.

"At that point, Facebook offered Twitter around $100 million in cash, with the rest of the deal in stock. Facebook said it would come up with the $100 million by selling more of its stock to outside investors. Twitter agreed on one condition: that the Facebook stock it received be valued at the price company shares garnered on the open market. Facebook blinked and the deal talks ended. "They wanted to buy us but there was not much conviction," the person says."

"Analytics Web site Compete shows Twitter has 6 million unique users, up from around 800,000 last year. Yet Twitter doesn't generate any revenue, despite its surge in popularity."

And finally the best quote of all from Portfolio's interview with Twitter's CEO [portfolio.com] :

I can't imagine how many times you've been asked, "But how will you make money?"
We will make money, and I can't say exactly how, because we can't predict exactly what's going to work.

Next in the news: (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044079)

Portfolio's interview with Twitter's CEO:
I can't imagine how many times you've been asked, "But how will you make money?"

We will make money, and I can't say exactly how, because we can't predict exactly what's going to work.

Twitter adopts a new user policy: "You hereby grant Twitter a perpetual, irrevocable license to sublicense, retain, publish, edit, use, alter, fondle, misrepresent, [...] any information you tweet, your personal information stored in user settings, your IP address(es), your pictures, your mother, your car [...], by breathing you accept the above terms."

That's how they'll make money. It's how Facebook "makes" money.

stock valuation (2, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042335)

the deal *only* fell apart because of a disagreement over stock valuation

The deal only fell apart because... they did not agree on the price. Bummer!

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27042405)

> Taking a shit > Boy I'm constipated > Damn, this log just won't come out! > It's finally crowning... > OUT, it's finally OUT!!! > Wiping my ass > Flushing the toilet Anonymous Coward is relieved to have finished pooping.

Just wondering (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27042955)

What happens to all these internet sites when reality finally sets in and its realized that for the most part internet advertising is over valued. At some point advertisers will have to cut back on marketing that is over priced and in my opinion largely inaffective. Just like Chrysler cancelled their advertising campaign with Tiger, and BoA won't be the name of the new Yankee Stadium. Nobody bought a Chrysler who wouldn't have already bought one just because tiger is seen in a commercial driving one. Certainly not enough extra profit can be tied to him to justify his contract.

Good example (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27044283)

of a misleading title.

I thought they almost added twitter as an app in facebook.

It actually makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27044639)

If you figure that between FaceBook and Twitter users you've got the largest collection of narcissists with the shortest attention spans.

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