Facebook has grown quickly but has only taken in $35 million
in venture financing. According to its investors, it is on track to hit $150
million this year in revenue. In 2006, Facebook was valued at $525 million and
received $25 million in funding. The next round of financing will value
Facebook much higher, some investors like Peter Thiel think they could be worth
around $10 billion. Don't count out the other guys, even though MySpace numbers
are dropping, a recent internal Google video leaked detailing plans to
integrate some of their offerings into a 'facebook' like experience. They would
accomplish this by combining Picasa, GTalk, Calendar and Reader.
Every interaction will be managed by a complex web of dynamic feeds based on preference and collections. Google wants to create some standards so users can notify aggregators of their update feed across syndicated content and other Web 2.0 venues. It's all about who can get the applications out faster and grow membership and use of those apps the fastest. One simple application on Facebook called "Visual Bookshelf" helps members find new books by providing recommendations from reviews written by their friends. The company who created the application, Hungry Machine LLC, says the application is adding 10,000 users a day. They have a link back to Amazon and a commission is generated for each book sold online. Visual Bookshelf didn't replace what Amazon does; it merely provides a plug-in gathering point to enhance the Facebook user experience -not requiring them to leave the site to look for books. It's a different channel to market. That's the way you monetize the Facebook effect - rather it be with Google or any other Web 2.0 company.