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Facebook to Make $100M This Year

Did you know that Marketing Pilgrim has recently been named the unofficial Facebook rumor blog by . . . okay, by us. (If this bugs you, don’t worry, it’s temporary—it’ll be over as soon as Facebook stops doing stuff.)

MediaPost reports today on Facebook’s growth in membership—and revenues. As we’ve mentioned before, Facebook’s recent stats show their visitors up 89% YOY. They also win an average of 20.6 visits per visitor.

But perhaps more importantly, MediaPost hits on the question we’ve all asked:

[O]bservers are asking anew about the site’s value.

Well, the posh social network is profitable, will post a positive EBITA, and will do well over $100 million in revenue this year, according to Jim Breyer, managing partner of venture capital firm Accel Partners–one of Facebook’s biggest investors along with Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners. . . .

Is Facebook Built on Stolen Code? Court to Decide

While Facebook continues to attract media attention – with talk of acquisition partners or an IPO – it’s haunted by a three year old law suit that claims it is built on code stolen by founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The lawsuit, filed by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accuses Zuckerberg, Facebook?s 23-year-old C.E.O, of stealing the source code, design, and business plan for Facebook in 2003 when he briefly worked in the Harvard dorms as a programmer for their own fledgling social-networking site, now known as ConnectU.

The plaintiffs have demanded that Facebook be shut down and that full control of the site – and its profits – be turned over to them.

Facebook–Going It Alone or Goin’ Courting?

Because it’s Friday, I briefly contemplated just writing “FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” in this post and publishing it, but realized that I like having a job. So, instead, I’ll secure our status as the unofficial Facebook rumor blog and give you a few more of this week’s Facebook rumors today.

Six Billion Dollars?
Rumors are flying that Microsoft offered to buy Facebook for $6 billion this week. Of course, they could have offered six bajillion—Zuckerberg just ain’t selling.

The original author of the rumor, Henry Blodget, makes the important observation:

$6 billion’s a nice fat number, but it’s only 1/25th of Google’s valuation, and the Facebook folks clearly think they’re worth more than that.

On the other hand, it’s 200 times $30 million, the estimated earnings for Facebook this year (as reported by John Batelle).

Google Waiting for Facebook to Approach Them

Thanks to Jordan’s excellent coverage, Marketing Pilgrim has become the unofficial Facebook rumor blog and today we have more to share. Despite some suggesting Google should go ahead and acquire Facebook, it appears Sergey Brin is not in a mad rush to snap them up.

“If they come to us, we’d certainly be open to talking,” Brin said, answering a reporter’s question at the 25th annual Allen & Co. media deal-makers conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. “But I think they’re building a great company of their own.”

Hmm. We could fill a couple of posts with analysis of what Brin’s statement actually means. My guess is that Google knows that if they make the approach, they’ll likely have to pay a premium for Facebook – especially as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems happy to throw wild valuations at any potential suitor.

Facebook to Give Away Big Bucks

I’m really, really, really sorry. I know that I totally slipped yesterday, and didn’t report anything about Facebook. But don’t despair, all. I found more Facebook news today!

Tuesday, VC firm Bay Partners launched a program to fund Facebook platform programmers. The E-Commerce Times reports:

Dubbed the “AppFactory,” the program will grant awards of US$25,000 to $250,000 to Facebook developers using a fast-track approval process. The company hopes to make up to 50 such awards, Salil Deshpande, a partner at Bay Partners, told the E-Commerce Times.

“We don’t know how it will go,” Deshpande added. “The only constraint will be our bandwidth in terms of the time and effort it takes to evaluate, manage and nurture these projects.”

Social Media Initiative – Help us Get 1 Million Trees Planted for Free

My good friend Rob Key of Converseon has asked us to help spread the word about a worthwhile effort to plant as many as 1 million trees.

The Second Chance Trees Reforestation Project uses Second Life as a platform to teach visitors about the planet’s endangered rainforests and the dangers of deforestation. For every tree you buy and plant in Second Life, a real tree will be carefully planted in the real world.

The project has gotten the attention of American Express who have listed it as a Top 50 finalist for The Members Project contest, with the winner getting as much as $5 million to fund their efforts.

So, here’s how you can help FOR FREE!

Zillow Adds Social Features to Keep Ahead of Realtors

It seems real estate appraisal service Zillow is preparing to take on real estate agents by offering what they’ve so far failed to. While realtors might be making life a little difficult for Zillow, the company has decided to tap into social networks and offer services that I’ve not seen elsewhere.

Here’s what’s been added:

  • Neighborhood Pages – 6500 of them across 134 cities. Packed full with demographic data, neighborhood discussion forums (for all that gossip about the strange family down the street) and photo sharing.
  • Zillow Discussions – Yahoo Answers for home buyers.
  • New Home Page – more personalization options.

With the recent addition of Vanessa Fox, we fully expect to see a Zillow Owners Console soon, with the following: