Duncan Riley at TechCrunch today explores the options for still-indepedent Facebook. With talk of Yahoo eyeing a $1B price tag on Bebo, it looks like Facebook is in a good position to get far moreâ€”but from whom? In the comments, Michael Arrington predicts an IPO for Facebook next year.
Meanwhile, Hitwise released statistics on social networks today. MySpace still leads the pack with 79.7% of visits last month. Bebo was doing respectably among the rest, with 1.28%. Facebook received 11.47% of visits during April. (The remaining 7.55% was spread among Imeem, BlackPlanet.com, Tagged, Yahoo! 360, Xanga, hi5 and Gaiaonline.com.)
With nearly nine times the market share as Bebo, can Facebook command $9b? Probably not. However, as Hitwise notes, “From September 2006 to April 2007,” when Facebook opened registration to everyone, “the market share of visits to Facebook grew by 106 percent.” Year-over-year increases were pretty good all around: MySpace was up 70% over April 2007, Facebook up 126% and Bebo up 184%
However, there’s still another area where MySpace beats Facebook: generating traffic.
One in four visits (24.9 percent of upstream clicks) to the 19 other top social networking sites came directly from MySpace in April 2007, demonstrating the dominance of MySpace and indicating that many users maintain more than one social network. In April 2007, Facebook accounted for 2.85 percent of the upstream traffic to its 19 competitors, an increase of 185 percent compared to September 2006.
What do you think? Should Facebook stick it out and go for an IPO or should they sell as fast as they can for as much as they can?