Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

What Happen If Facebook Invented It’s Own Search Engine?

By Greg Sterling

The news broke yesterday that Facebook was getting a whopping $500 million from Goldman Sachs and existing investor Digital Sky Technologies at a valuation of $50 billion. None of this has been confirmed by the company but it’s being very widely reported. Apparently the Goldman investment will enable the company’s most wealthy clients to “get in” before an IPO and virtually guarantee that Goldman is the firm (or the lead firm) that takes Facebook public when that eventually happens.

Groupon also just raised a gigantic funding round, between $500 million and $950 million according to reports. Within the past 12 months there have been other massive rounds of more than $100 million at companies such as Zynga and Yelp.

Part of what’s going on in these cases is early investors selling shares, as well as founders and early employees “taking money off the table.” This relieves some of the pressure to go public. However, once the number of shareholders of a company reaches 500 or more Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) rules apparently force companies to start reporting financial information as though they were public.  It’s not clear how close Facebook is to the “500″ number officially or clear to me how that number is calculated precisely. (Clearly Facebook has more than 500 employees who have stock options, which are classified differently.)

As an aside, SEC has begun an investigation into the trading of private company shares. I suspect that we’ll see some new regulations down the road, though not in this Congressional term, that alter the ability of companies to do this kind of private fund raising and trading at this level of scale without going public.

On to the fun stuff: what might Facebook do, beyond making more people rich, with all the money? More headcount and more acquisitions are obvious moves. In addition the company is reportedly going to move to a new, larger home in Menlo Park that was a former Sun Microsystems campus — sometimes referred to as “Sun Quentin” after the California prison in nearby Marin County.

Facebook is reportedly making about $2 billion annually (run-rate) on advertising. But it’s serving almost 25% of all US display ads according to comScore. So I would expect its display revenues to increase accordingly. Yet where might Facebook look for more revenue growth when it does go public eventually?

Mobile advertising is one obvious place, e-commerce is another (shopping is a big opportunity for Facebook) and local is a third opportunity. But search might also be another place that Facebook inevitably turns.

Given the Microsoft relationship and Facebook’s lack of core competency in search it would not seem logical that the company would go there. But the “gravitational pull” of search may ultimately prove too great. As you know, after email search is the web’s “killer app.”

Imagine that Facebook were to become convinced that having its own search engine was a key to delivering a better user experience overall, as well as generating new ad revenue. One obvious and immediate possibility would be to buy Blekko, which has pushed social integration with Facebook Likes further than Microsoft itself.

Blekko has raised just over $24 million and could probably be acquired for some multiple of that figure below $200 million. Presto: just ad search. Other more unlikely possibilities would be to buy someone like Infospace or even Ask, though in both cases it would cost more than $200 million and potentially much more in the case of Ask.

For its part Blekko is very innovative but faces a long uphill climb against Google and Bing. Under the hood at Facebook, with 500 million users, it would be quite a different matter. In my view the thing that today separates the Facebook experience from being “truly useful” is a strong search offering, notwithstanding the Bing integration.

I’m speculating and I don’t know what the Microsoft-Facebook deal terms look like. They might contractually preclude Facebook from developing or introducing its own web search engine for some period of time.

Formerly I would have argued that it would be very difficult and almost pointless for Facebook to develop its own search engine given the Bing relationship. But with all this new money flowing and not that many revenue opportunities like paid search out there, the push and the pull of search may just be too strong for Facebook to resist.

Postscript: Clint Boulton at eWeek has an interesting post arguing that Facebook might buy the Chrome-based social browser RockMelt. He suggests this is another way to compete with Google, although Google is the default search option on RockMelt.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Raises $500 Million in Funding, Now Worth $50 Billion

Facebook Money
Facebook has received a massive new round of funding: $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, according to a new report.
Facebok has raised more than $800 million over five rounds of funding. With this round, the social network will have raised more than $1.3 billion. The New York Times says that the deal sets the social network’s valuation at a whopping $50 billion. Facebook’s worth has fluctuated between $40 billion and $50 billion in the secondary markets for the past few weeks. In September, Facebook was worth between $23 billion and $33 billion and in November it was worth $41 billion.
As part of the deal, Goldman Sachs will help the social network raise an additional $1.5 billion. To do this, the investment bank will create a “special purpose vehicle” that will allow others to invest in Facebook indirectly. This would help the social network bypass a S.E.C. regulation that requires companies with more than 499 investors to disclose their financial results to the public.
Goldman Sachs will be a first-time investor in Facebook, while Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies had previously invested $200 million in the company Mark Zuckerberg built at a $10 billion valuation. According to the NYT report, Goldman Sachs has the option to sell $75 million of its stake to DST.
It’s unclear what Facebook will do with the money. It could cash out some of its employees and existing investors with that money or go on a hiring spree. It has so much money now that it will likely do both.

Facebook has received a massive new round of funding: $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, according to a new report.
Facebok has raised more than $800 million over five rounds of funding. With this round, the social network will have raised more than $1.3 billion. The New York Times says that the deal sets the social network’s valuation at a whopping $50 billion. Facebook’s worth has fluctuated between $40 billion and $50 billion in the secondary markets for the past few weeks. In September, Facebook was worth between $23 billion and $33 billion and in November it was worth $41 billion.
As part of the deal, Goldman Sachs will help the social network raise an additional $1.5 billion. To do this, the investment bank will create a “special purpose vehicle” that will allow others to invest in Facebook indirectly. This would help the social network bypass a S.E.C. regulation that requires companies with more than 499 investors to disclose their financial results to the public.
Goldman Sachs will be a first-time investor in Facebook, while Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies had previously invested $200 million in the company Mark Zuckerberg built at a $10 billion valuation. According to the NYT report, Goldman Sachs has the option to sell $75 million of its stake to DST.
It’s unclear what Facebook will do with the money. It could cash out some of its employees and existing investors with that money or go on a hiring spree. It has so much money now that it will likely do both.

Source: Mashable Business

Top 10 Most Visited Websites In 2010 In The U.S: Facebook Passed Google & Become #1

Top 10 Most Visited Websites in 2010 in the US

Facebook #1 Most Visited Website in the U.S in 2010

Facebook.com become the most visited website over the web in 2010 according to Hitwise data released today in the US, which Facebook overtakes Google this year positioning.

Facebook.com earned up 8.93% of site visits between January & November 2010, Google.com toke 7,19% followed by Mail.Yahoo.com with 3.52% & Youtube.com with 2.65%

Here are a list of statistics of 2010 regarding internet browsing in the US, such as top 10 visited websites, top 10 most searched terms & searched personalities, movie titles & music.

Top 10 Most Visited Websites in 2010:

  • Facebook.com
  • Google.com
  • Mail.yahoo.com
  • Yahoo.com
  • Youtube.com
  • msn.com
  • myspace.com
  • mail.live.com
  • search.yahoo.com
  • bing.com

Top 10 Most Searched Terms in 2010:

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Login
  • Youtube
  • Craiglist
  • Myspace
  • Facebook.com
  • Ebay
  • Yahoo
  • www.facebook.com
  • Mapquest

Top 5 Searched Personalities in 2010:

  • Kim Kardashian
  • Oprah
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Glenn Beck

Top 5 Searched Movie Titles in 2010:

  • Star Wars
  • Paranormal Activity 2
  • Avatar
  • Transformers 3
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow

Top 5 Searched Music (Artists/Bands) in 2010:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Justin Beiber
  • Eminem
  • Taylor Swift
  • Michael Jakson

To have a more detailed stats or for more statistics for 2010 such as most searched TV shows, Sports, News & Media & Real Estate go to Hitwise.com

Facebook – Viral Marketing Guide – 2

Facebook Logo

Introduction to Facebook

Facebook offers you an unparalleled opportunity to connect with your fans and consumers—on their turf and in ways they find meaningful. By maintaining a Facebook Page and using all the available features, you can interact with consumers the same way they interact with friends and colleagues. Your biggest fans have probably already told a couple friends about your business in casual conversation, but Facebook’s technology makes it easy for them to spread the word instantaneously to all of their friends—on average, over 100 people.

Keys to Using Facebook

1) Make business personal

People primarily use Facebook to share personal information with friends. The more you showcase the human element of your business, your products, and your people, the stronger of an effect it will have on everyone who views it.

2) Update your Facebook Page frequently

Facebook is geared to highlight new information and recent changes. The more often you add new content, the more often people will come back to your Facebook Page. You can also send Updates to your fans to announce in-store events, special promotions, new products, concerts, screenings, or other news.

3) Harness the power of News Feed

The News Feed on users’ home pages tells them what their friends are doing. When users become your fan, News Feed tells their friends and invites them to become fans as well. In turn, this can lead to the friends of their friends finding out about your business through their News Feeds, and so on in a virtuous cycle. News Feed is the key to spreading your message virally on Facebook.

4) Choose the applications that are best for your

Business Facebook and its outside developers have built thousands of free applications for businesses, bands, and every other type of organization. Your Page comes with the basics pre-installed, but you can easily add whichever other applications are right for your business. For instance, a restaurant may choose to add an application for online ordering or reservations, while a film may add a cinema locator so the user can find the nearest screening without ever leaving Facebook. You can even build your own applications. The more useful your applications are to your customers, the faster your fan base will grow.

5) Promote your Page through Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads allow you to reach exactly the audience you want and bring them to your Page. You can choose your audience based on age, gender, geography, educational status, relationship status, and precise interests or keywords. Your ads can be socialized so that users’ interactions are reflected in the ads their friends see, increasingly the virality of your Page. You can run ads both in traditional “banner” locations and in the News Feed. As with your Page itself, the key to success with Facebook Ads is to experiment and iterate on your work. Facebook experts are all around you: in your family, on your staff, amongst your customers, at your competitors. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice and to follow their lead when you see a successful strategy at work.  “Is Facebook becoming the social operating system of the Internet, poised to support a whole new generation of businesses?…Wharton’s Fader sees Facebook commanding a mass market in a way traditional forms of media no longer do. ‘Even TV does not have the same level of engagement. Right now, Facebook is unique.’” – Forbes

Presence

Facebook Pages, which launched in November 2007, allow local businesses, sports teams, artists, films, brands, public figures, non-profits and other business organizations to have a presence on Facebook. Users can add themselves to your Facebook Page as fans, write on your Wall, purchase products, learn about special promotions, upload photos, and join other users in discussion groups. You can send Updates to all your fans whenever you like. And you can add applications to your Page and engage Facebook users with videos, notes, links, Flash content, and more.

Source: Docstoc / Facebook

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