Monday, it looked like Microsoft was interested in buying 5% of Facebook for a sum of $300-500 million. The following day, the plot thickened as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Seattle—and Microsoft—according to CNNMoney.com.
Senior editor David Kirkpatrick hits on the reasons why Facebook is so attractive to investors:
Facebook is the closest thing the world has to a next-generation Internet, one structured not around Web sites but around people. In the Facebook topology, every data source or service is defined by who else is using it.
The company has, in a crude way, solved the critical problem of Internet identity. Each member’s profile is tantamount to their personal Web site, which defines who you are, who you know, what you are interested in, and what you are doing now.
Kirkpatrick hedges his bets as he concludes:
I doubt if Zuckerberg sees it as essential for his company to align with Microsoft or any strategic investor. But he is enough of a pragmatist to realize that Facebook would be immeasurably strengthened by the kinds of sums now being bandied about. He won’t refuse them.
However, Kirkpatrick also notes that the $10-15 billion valuation of Facebook is likely overinflated, stating, “There’s no way the company is worth that kind of money today, despite the 43 million active users it claims.”
While it seems to be the general consensus that $15 billion is too high, it really looks as though Facebook could be getting quite a bit more from Microsoft than the $150 million revenue it’ll turn this year.