Facebook Values Itself at $3.7 Billion (Or Less)

When Microsoft bought a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook back in October 2007, it paid 240 million dollars for the preferred stock, which meant that the company was valued at roughly 15 billion dollars. A big discussion broke out over whether Facebook was really worth that much, or 15 billion was an unrealistic number.

It turns out that it was, since Facebook values itself at somewhere around 3.7 billion dollars. We know this, because the Associated Press was able to retrieve some details from the transcript of a June court hearing held over a legal settlement between Facebook and ConnectU.

How the AP did that is interesting in itself; they copied and pasted the blacked-out portions of the document into another document. I’d be surprised, but here at Mashable we were also once able to retrieve information in a similar way, due to a sloppy conversion of a Joost-related Powerpoint presentation to a PDF document. It’s hard to believe that things like this happen in multi-million dollar deals, but they obviously do.

The most interesting bit of information that AP was able to retrieve is Facebook’s own assessment of its worth: $8.88 per share, which gives the company a market value of around $3.7 billion.

This puts Facebook into a very uncomfortable situation for several reasons. First, it’s never good when the value of your company is suddenly perceived as being 4-5 times less than before. Secondly, although preferred stock may (but that’s debatable and depends on the nature of the stock) be worth more than common stock, I doubt that Microsoft is happy to realize they’ve severely overpaid their share in Facebook. And thirdly, the fact that the economic situation has been steadily worsening after June 2008 doesn’t help matters at all, and one can argue that Facebook is probably worth far less – by their own standards – than the aforementioned 3.7 billion. That’s the danger of being overvalued and overhyped; if presented with evidence to the contrary, you might soon find yourself sinking far lower than you realistically should.

Courtesy: Mashable.com

Now you can use Gtalk in Facebook

Facebook has integrated GTalk application which means that now you’ll just need to have an existing Google account in order to use this application on Facebook. Both your Facebook friends and your Google friends will appear in your buddy list and you can chat to them from within the Facebook.

Its a nice feature which will help users to spend more time on Facebook as they can save the time shifting between Gtalk & Facebook 😉

LinkedIn launches Facebook like application

Linkedin has launched a Facebook application called “My Company’s Hiring” for users to post open positions in their company. This application works best for Facebook users that are actually in charge of hiring process. You’ll need to manually input the positions and their desriptions, and you can include an external link for additional information as well. The positions will show on your profile and the newsfeed as well with the external link included. While the application was created by LinkedIn, there is no direct relation between this application and your LinkedIn account, so there’s no good way to leverage your actual LinkedIn contacts or account information for this application.

Man sent to Jail for Fake Facebook Account

An IT engineer of Morocco, Fouad Mourtada; aged 26 year-old  has been arrested for making a fake Facebook profile of Prince Moulay Rachid, the younger brother of King Mohammed VI. While the fake profile was created just as a prank but it landed Mourtada in jail. He’s now facing up to 5 years in prison. Mainly the countries with monarchies don’t like when the fun or prank is directed to the royal family. The authorities considered such a joke to be classified as identity theft, and don’t find the situation funny in the slightest. However, the question is that for how long can a person be punished for creating a fake account?

Facebook Expands Data Center Space

Facebook has leased space in a state-of-the-art data center in Ashburn, Virginia to power the huge growth of its social networking service. The addition of 10,000 square feet of space in a new facility built by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) will allow Facebook to expand its server infrastructure. The lease is for the second phase of a $375 million facility, 300,000 square foot facility that is scheduled to come online Nov. 1. It is not known when Facebook will begin moving equipment into the facility, known as ACC4.

The lease, which was signed on Oct. 15, was reported in an SEC filing in which the tenant was not named. DuPont Fabros executives identified Facebook as the tenant in a presentation to investors in advance of its IPO.

The 10,000 square foot lease is not enormous by data center standards. But Facebook has positioned itself for substantial growth, as the second phase of the ACC4 facility is currently 56 percent leased, with more than 37,000 square feet of raised floor space available. This gives Facebook the option of leasing additional space in the facility as its Internet infrastructure grows. Yahoo (YHOO) and MySpace are among the other tenants in ACC4.

Facebook had 30.6 million visitors in September, according to data from comScore. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday at the Web 2.0 conference that Facebook has “almost wrapped up” a round of funding that is rumored to value the company at more than $10 billion.

Facebook’s infrastructure has grown enormously as the site has grown beyond its initial market of college students to add high school and professional users. That growth sometimes threatened to get ahead of the young company’s back-end capabilities, according to chief operating officer Owen Van Natta, who discussed Facebook’s data center operations earlier this year. Van Natta said Facebook was “one of the largest MySQL Web sites in production,’ referring to the widely-used open source database.

The industrial-strength infrastructure at the new DuPont Fabros facility will be sturdy enough to handle Facebook’s growth. ACC4 is a seven-acre facility supported by 36.4 megawatts of power. More than 40,000 square feet of data center space is dedicated to housing diesel generators to provide backup power.

Courtesy: Data Center Knowledge

Is Facebook feeling Threat from Twitter?

Facebook started a new concept of copying other websites to enhance its features. The users  can  now post their “Status Updates” just like Twitter allowing them to  tell their friends what they are doing at any point of time. So Facebook has copied or imbibed a feature similar to Twitter with a minor change enabling the posting and reading with status updates via SMS. It’s a move that kills off any possibility of a link up between the two. Google and Yahoo are most likely to be interested in buying Twitter these days. Yahoo would most likely buy it because it’s cool and then recently it failed to acquire Facebook. That said, Yahoo is currently ahead of Google when it comes to interest in expanding to big social media networks.

Leader of Social Media Network – MySpace

MySpace remains king of the social networking category, according to Hitwise, taking in 79.7% of visits to sites in this category ofr the Month of April, 2007.

Facebook is second, with 11.47% of visits, and Bebo comes in third with 1.28% of visits. MySpace’s traffic has increased 70%. Facebook’s increase in traffic is largely due to their opening up of its site for anyone, instead of its previous limitations to those with college and high school email addresses, allowing its traffic to grow 106%. And to illustrate how influential MySpace is for the entire social networking ecosystem, nearly 25% of clicks to the 19 other top social networking sites came directly from. This also highlights the fact that many people have more than one social networking persona.

While Facebook has received a good amount of backlash for several of the changes it’s made to the site in the past year, opening it up to all Internet users and adding news feed updates (we’ll see how the community reacts to Facebook’s upcoming announcement for its development platform), all the changes have paid off handsomely, increasing the valuation of the company. Great for an IPO, right?

Courtesy: Mashable.com

Facebook launches “Share” Feature

Facebook has launched a “Share” feature, allowing users to post content to their Facebook profiles by clicking a button. This means you can post YouTube clips, Photobucket photos and more to your Facebook profiles and even have the videos play on the profile itself. In addition to this, if you want to share some article or news you might find Facebook logo at the bottom of the posts with other networks such as Digg or del.ici.ous. It means that thousands of content sites will start adding blue “F” buttons, thus promoting Facebook and helping the network to grow even faster. Facebook are announcing today that they’re making a “share on Facebook” icon available to site owners, meaning that any publisher, big or small, can allow users to share their content on the popular social network. They haven’t yet made this super easy for bloggers: after a brief scan of the Share Partners page, I’m none the wiser about how I could add this to my blog posts. But give it a few days and we’ll no doubt see plugins being developed for the popular blog platforms.

Why Zuckerberg Won’t Accept Just $1 Billion from Yahoo

Following the YouTube-Google acquisition, many analysts were predicting that Yahoo would make their move and snap up Facebook. A few weeks later, it seems the deal has gone stone cold, with neither party particularly keen to get a deal signed immediately. Meanwhile, Facebook has rolled out a number of features that have received a mixed response: the decision to open up the site met initial resistance among core users, the news feed raised privacy questions, while another move last week put ads within the feed. Today they’re launching a social bookmarking tool. We’ve yet to see how Facebook’s more conservative users embrace these ongoing feature additions. Personally, I think founder Mark Zuckerberg is happy to continue loading on the features and building out his site: one billion from Yahoo won’t sway him.

Zuckerberg has always been very clear that Facebook will be a successful independent business. Zuckerberg isn’t doing any simple bluff. He is wise to maximize his options, as time is on his side. This mantra, just build the best business, makes internal sense in two ways. First, engineers and product people are singularly focused on building product. The business side is crafting deals to secure a long term viability. A good thing, focus is. Second, it suppresses internal expectations of immediate gratification.

The mantra is obviously valuable externally, since Facebook needs only one buyer, whenever. Several companies with a market cap in the 10s of billions have been repeatedly in negotiations. Designed from the start to be cash flow positive, Facebook is free from the time pressure, lacking the bandwidth bill urgency that YouTube must have felt. Calculating VC investments + revenue – obvious costs, YouTube had a horizon of several months before needing recapitalization. Facebook’s horizon is.. infinite. Wouldn’t you believe they will be back?

Zuckerberg is having fun. It is a dream position for him, and also for just about everyone in the building with him. It’s only 9pm and the DJs are just setting up.

Courtesy: Mashable.com

Yahoo’s bid to buy Facebook

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo has offered Facebook an amount that could be approximately $1 billion in a bid to purchase it. Facebook is second largest social networking website in the US. Yahoo has been talking to Facebook over the past year.  Facebook also had discussions with Microsoft and Viacom. Earlier as well there were rumors of its acquisition wherein Facebook reportedly turned down an offer of $750 million, deciding to hold out for $2 billion.

Currently Yahoo has social media websites (Flickr, del.icio.us & Yahoo Answers) however they do not have anything like Myspace; the largest social media website or Facebook. Lets wait and watch that weather we’ll see Facebook as a Yahoo company or not.

‘Events’ on Facebook

Facebook is attracting group of people to their website to connect through ‘Events’ feature allowing them to organize and plan events. This feature is proving to be very successful for organizing parties and other small events. Active users of Facebook can join events and submit their RSVP. Moreover, users can also invite and recommend friends and acquaintances to an event. Events feature of Facebook is giving a tough competition to the websites which are in operation with specific reasons to organize and publicize small events. It has to be noted that every feature or application on Facebook is tend to get an exposure to a large database of well knit online users.

Facebook Ads, Powered by Microsoft

Hot on the heels of the MySpace-Google deal comes news from the NY Times that Facebook (Facebook) have inked a three year agreement with Microsoft, making adCenter the exclusive provider of banner ads and sponsored links on the site. The deal is quite clearly a reaction to the MySpace (MySpace) ad deal, since the serious talks only began last week. No financial details are being given, which prevents a comparison to Google’s (Google) $900 million, but Steve Berkowitz of Microsoft has said the move is “not comparable to the MySpace deal because we focused on the right economics for both parties”. Uh-huh.

Founded in 2004, Facebook is the second biggest social network in the US – it has 9 million users compared to MySpace’s 100 million or so. The network already runs promotions with Apple (see iTunes on Facebook) and has struck other promotional deals like the recent Facebook credit cards, where companies form sponsored groups on the site. The Microsoft ads will go live this fall.

Courtesy: Mashable.com

Birth of Facebook

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg which was originally called as ‘Thefacebook’. He started it as one of his hobby projects when he was at Harvard University. He was able to get some financial help from Eduardo Saverin.

Mark Zuckerberg’s two more friends from Harvard; Dustin Moskovitz & Chris Hughes came in to help him further develop the website. Few months later Zuckerberg and Moskovitz dropped out of Harvard to follow their dreams to run Facebook full time. They changed ‘thefacebook’ to ‘Facebook’ in August 2005 and they registered the domain name facebook.com for a reported $200,000.

Facebook is Fun

Wow! Its exciting. Yeah am talking about Facebook. Now I feel that Orkut was a shear time waste when you compare it with Facebook. It has applications, games, friends comments, wall and better interface as an icing over the cake. I think I am in love with it. My friend’s list is growing everyday, it has already touched 53 within a week. It means that atleast 53 friends of mine were having this fun a bit longer than I am. LoL…!!!
I have started playing one of its applications MAFIA WARS. It is slow but addictive rather Facebook in itself is pretty addictive, atleast better than Orkut.

Facebook Account

Finally after so many requests from friends and continuously deleting all of them to join Facebook, I announce my reactivation of Facebook Account. LoL…!!! Its pretty different from Orkut and it has many things to play around. I’ll definitely going to take some time to learn it. BTW, it has a nice feature of Notifications which wasn’t there in Orkut and forces everyone to hit refresh to check for any new scrap. This is going to be good learning and games might be fun.
Lets wait and watch.

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