Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Facebook and all that

Two bits of news today in the fast moving Facebook world:

1 - Facebook has (as pretty widely predicted) become the most popular social networking site in the UK. According to Neilson/Netratings Facebook received 6.5m unique visitors in Aug compared with 6.4m at MySpace. Bebo was third with 4.4m. Not only that but Facebook users spent on average 16 hours (yep 16 HOURS) on the site in Aug compared with 'only' 9 hours for Myspace users.

2 - According the WSJ journal today, Microsoft is pondering taking a 5% stake in Facebook which would value the company at $10b. You may remember that back in July, Mark Zuckerberg (aged 23....) said that he would only consider bids for Facebook at $10b. Anyway, now the WSJ reckons he thinks Facebook is worth $15b.

Of course, everybody thinks that social networking is the NBT and I would agree. But I have increasing doubts that Facebook is 'it'. My daughter has decided to leave Facebook as she is fed up with it. Many users are disenchanted with the ads which now appear with increasing regularity. And I am just fed up that the ideas I put to Zuckerberg in my Open Letter (Click here) some weeks ago remain unanswered and unactioned.

If someone could provide a social networking site that was as slick and easy to use as Facebook, but also allowed me to separate the business, family and friends bits of my profile, that just might get my vote. Others believe that it will be social networking sites tailored to specific niche interests that will blossom. Perhaps the real answer - and NBT - is a clever combination of the two. I, for one, do not want to keep profiles on half a dozen separate social networking sites. Hence my 'MyTop' thesis presented at the ICT Leaders Dinner on 4th sept 07 (see below)

Perhaps Microsoft could do that. But part of me feels that Microsoft might just be taking this stake as a blocking tactic. Ie they don't want Google or Yahoo to get their hands on it.


Jovan said...

Richard, you have used links elsewhere in your blog but haven't added one from this posting to your Open Letter to Zuckerberg, which I can't see "below".

Richard Holway said...

I've inserted a link now. Hope you enjoy it!