Facebook is all over the news today. I know, I know, just another day at the office. Anyway, two of the biggest stories are that Facebook appears to be going after LinkedIn as it enhances its business networking capabilities—and that $10B isn’t too much to pay for the site.
Facebook Gets Business—Now on to Get LinkedIn
Friday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook will be adding enhanced networking capabilities specifically designed to better network for business on the social networking site.
Many professionals using Facebook have complained that Facebook is still too college-mentality-centric, with ‘networking’ mostly used as a euphemism for ‘hookups.’ TechCrunch reports that this may be about to change:
Currently on Facebook, users can say they are looking for friendship, dating, a relationship, random play or “whatever I can get.” But networking was recently added as a desired relationship type to the API (note that it is not yet an option on Facebook itself yet).
However, this appears to be the only “improvement” in the works in this area so far. TC points out that Facebook (or 3rd party apps) could be developed to help enhance the network’s capabilities:
Applications could be developed that show a social graph for users who’ve said they want to network that goes much deeper than one level of friends. You could, for example, use Facebook’s people search (which is now public) to not only find people, but see exactly how you are connected to them. In effect, Facebook could build a LinkedIn-type networking application within the overall Facebook network. And that could be very bad for LinkedIn in the long run.
It appears that the only question is: how long until the other shoe falls?
Facebook Actually Worth $10B
BusinessWeek opines today that there is no bubble—Facebook is actually worth $10 billion. What a crazy world we live in:
These lofty valuations have a lot of people in Silicon Valley and beyond squirming. They worry about a replay of the dot-com boom, which peaked early in 2000, only to crash later that year. “Companies like Facebook are driving everybody bananas,” says Sumant Mandal, managing director at Clearstone Venture Partners.
But the bubble chatter misses the point. Buyouts by established companies, from Google, Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo! (YHOO), and eBay to News Corp. (NWS) and CBS (CBS), bubbly as they may appear, serve a valid strategic purpose. Marketers and media companies alike fervently believe there are lucrative opportunities to get people engaged with their brands, products, and ads in ways Madison Avenue could never dream of.
However, the article does warn that even if Facebook is worth $10B, that kind of valuation might not last, especially as the economy cools.