The Case For And Against Facebook

May 30 2012 @ 5:32pm

Alexis Madrigal argues that Zuckerberg's site is valuable if the web is valuable:

It has long been trendy to compare Facebook to MySpace and Friendster, two social networks that were once dominant. But let's get real here. There's dominant and there's DOMINANT. No social network has ever commanded a greater share of Internet users, their time, or their shared media. And it is not even close. MySpace got passed by Facebook when they had something like 120 million worldwide visitors a month. That makes Facebook 7.5 times larger than MySpace ever got. Friendster? They were in the single-digit millions.

The story is the same with engagement. MySpace peaked at something like 240 minutes a month. Facebook's over 400 minutes. Repeat this same analysis for media sharing or any other metric of your choosing. Facebook is not the same kettle of fish.

Michael Wolff, on the other hand, believes that Facebook will crash and "take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it": 

The growth of its user base and its ever-expanding  page views means an almost infinite inventory to sell. But the expanding supply, together with an equivocal demand, means ever-lowering costs. The math is sickeningly inevitable. Absent an earth-shaking idea, Facebook will look forward to slowing or declining growth in a tapped-out market, and ever-falling ad rates, both on the Web and (especially) in mobile. Facebook isn't Google; it's Yahoo or AOL.