in which i make a (nearly) completely groundless prediction

People will look at today's IPO as the beginning of the end of Facebook. Not because the share prices fluctuated wildly before settling a mere $0.23 above where they started, but because today will be the day when Facebook had to start answering to shareholders.

I think the astronomical valuation of the company is absurd. To be sure, they have built a global social network that I never could have imagined being the pervasive entity it has become, when I first saw an undergraduate's FB page at the University of Arizona, c. 2005. And they have adroitly parlayed that ubiquity and the data its users so readily provide into the promise of endless ad revenue.

But I think the business model has peaked.

FB has already gotten a lot more clunky. I know, every few months, people bitch and moan about this change or that, and threaten to leave, and never do. But absent a tangible product other than user data and ad space, Facebook is going to get either a lot more invasive, a lot more ad-driven--but more likely, both--when shareholders start demanding real returns.

I may or may not be right about what people will be willing to put up with . But I am very, very, confident that you will not recognize the place two years from now.


Gino said...

i've always thought the hype was overblown.

personally, i'd be happy to see fb usage go way down and folks start blogging again.

Brian said...

Dude, blogs are the 8-tracks of Web 2.0.

There are dinosaurs walking among us, and they are us.

Gino said...

sad isnt it?

where are folks going when they discuss stuff?

Mr. D said...

where are folks going when they discuss stuff?

Twitter, which is (a) more immediate and (b) significantly more incoherent.