September 12, 2011
April 8, 2009
We will welcome our 200 millionth user to Facebook some time today, and I want to take this opportunity to describe what this means to us and what we hope it can mean for everyone using Facebook.
When we built Facebook in 2004, our goal was to create a richer, faster way for people to share information about what was happening around them. We thought that giving people better tools to communicate would help them better understand the world, which would then give them even greater power to change the world.
Creating channels between people who want to work together towards change has always been one of the ways that social movements push the world forward and make it better. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicholas Sarkozy have used Facebook as a way to organize their supporters. From the protests against the Colombian FARC, a 40-year old terrorist organization, to fighting oppressive, fringe groups in India, people use Facebook as a platform to build connections and organize action.
Congrats to mark and facebook! Now figure out how to make money.
April 5, 2009
March 31, 2009
Gideon You, facebook CFO, is leaving the company.
Facebook is losing its CFO Gideon Yu. The Wall Street Journal broke the news earlier today, and speculated that the reason could be that Facebook might want to make an early bid for an IPO and wants a CFO with public company experience (which is complete nonsense). Yu was previously the CFO of YouTube. At Facebook, he was key to raising money from Microsoft at the famous $15 billion valuation, but as the economy soured he was not able to find as many takers at that same price, despite Facebook’s voracious need for capital to keep up with its growth.
It is ’show me the money’ time for social networking sites and there will be a lot of shaking out. Hi5 is announcing layoffs.
Mike Arrington highlights facebook’s troubles keeping its executives.
March 28, 2009
Brad Stone at NYT in his long article wonders if facebook is grwoing up too fast.
WHEN Facebook signed up its 100 millionth member last August, its employees spread out in two parks in Palo Alto, Calif., for a huge barbecue. Sometime this week, this five-year-old start-up, born in a dorm room at Harvard, expects to register its 200 millionth user.
That staggering growth rate — doubling in size in just eight months — suggests Facebook is rapidly becoming the Web’s dominant social ecosystem and an essential personal and business networking tool in much of the wired world.
MR. ZUCKERBERG hopes that being ubiquitous and useful translates to the bottom line.
Though Facebook is privately held and doesn’t publicly disclose its earnings, various press and analysts’ estimates of its 2008 revenues span from $250 million to $400 million. That range may not be enough to cover the company’s escalating expenses, and it hardly justifies some of the atmospheric valuations that have been placed on the start-up, including the $15 billion that Microsoft assigned to the company when it invested in it in 2007.
Facebook’s financial challenges aren’t unique. Popular free e-mail services like Hotmail from Microsoft and Gmail from Google have little in the way of profits to show for their vast audiences, aside from a few text ads that people rarely click on. Instant messaging networks like Microsoft Messenger and AIM from American Online are similarly popular but have never been hyperprofitable, for the simple reason that people do not want intrusive ads inserted into personal conversations.
Youtube may be the king of online videos, but its video quality sucks. You can see it for yourself. Here is a movie that I made in HD that I upladed to Youtube, facebook and Vimeo and see the difference in the quality.
I uploaded the same file to all three sites. The difference is day and night. It may be that youtube compromises on the quality since they serve so many more videos. But if you are a film maker then you hate to see the quality effecting user experience. I hope Youtube catches up on the quality front.
Update: Actually Youtube doesn’t play HD version by default. If you click on the HD button on its player, then you can watch the HD version. But the throughput is bad and it buffers like crazy.
March 13, 2009
Geolocation is going to be integrated into most web applications in the future. Yahoo has realeased two apps based on fire eagle geolocation web service. One of facebook and the ther as a firefox extension.
This morning Yahoo has released a pair of new applications that tap into Fire Eagle, Yahoo’s ambitious geo-location system that allows a wide variety of web services to share your location data (after being granted permission to do so). The new applications include a rich Facebook application called Friends on Fire and a Fire Eagle extension for Firefox that allows users to update their location directly from their browser without having to leave the site they’re viewing.
Yahoo has been on the forefront innovation in this area with fire eagle. Google recently launched its geolocation service latitude. You also have the startups loopt, brightkite and pelago (whrrl) that have started this whole frenzy. I hope to see plenty of innovation in geolocation services.
March 11, 2009
Facebook tried unsuccesfully to buy twitter for $500M back in november 2008. Twitter seems to be gaining real momentum recently and on its way to crossing the chasm from silicon valley techies to main stream users.
I would bet that google and facebook would love to buy twitter though they may not find the price tag to their liking. They can buy other companies such as friendfeed but there is only one twitter.
Twitter is increasingly seen as a realtime search engine and a complement to google’s search business. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently commented in his interview with Charlie Rose that they are not looking to make any acquistions because he thinks the prices are still too high. He seems to be under the impression that prices of companies woud drop as the economic reality hits home. He mentioned that google is generating a lot of cash which they are keeping safely in highly secure banks. So he clearly feels cash is king and wants to wait for the right time to pounce.
Facebook also may find twitter out of their price range and would like to neutralize the growth and success of twitter. Integrating twitter like functionalitty is a move in that direction. Facebook, like twitter, is still looking for an effective way to monetize their users. This adds to the risk of facebook acquiring twitter.
I think twitter has established a strong first mover advantage and it is going to be hard for any company to threaten its place. I don’t think facebook integrating twitter like functionality will make too much of a dent in twitter’s growth. The horse has already left the barn. I would like to see twitter stay independent and figure out its business model and continue to innovate.
March 10, 2009
March 6, 2009
Techcrunch reports a group of indie facebook developers making $700k per month. They got this information from socialmedia, a social ad network.
The mass media may be enamored of the rags-to-riches stories of developers on Apple’s App Store, but it isn’t the only game in town for indie developers to strike it rich. We’ve gotten word from SocialMedia, a popular ad platform for social network applications, that one of the company’s clients pulled in over $700,000 in advertising revenues from their Facebook apps in December alone. Granted, this was spread over 30+ of the client’s applications, but the company only consists of a handful of (very prolific) developers.
They don’t name the company or the developers. If they have 30+ applications with so many users it should be very easy to identify them. Also, I don’t see why this company/developers would want to be so secretive about their identity. Publicity should help them get more users. This information is given out by a company (socialmedia) with a vested interest. So I call BS on this until they identify this group and the applications making such money. Advertising rates on social networks are abysmally low. Assuming $0.10 cpm, they would need 7 billion page views a month. That is a lot of page views for an anonymous group of facebook apps. If this were true it would be very easy to fugure out who they are. So I don’t buy it.