PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be "most valuable company in the world"

PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be "most valuable company in the world"

Summary: PayPal co-founder Max Levchin believes Facebook could become the "most valuable company in the world." The company's executives want to see Facebook turn into the world's first trillion dollar company, but even if those rumors are false, I doubt anyone in Palo Alto is disagreeing with Levchin.

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Max Rafael Levchin, co-founder and former CTO of PayPal, had some good things to say about Facebook today, at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. Levchin and Benchmark Capital's Bill Gurley answered questions about "game-changing technology," one of which was in regards to Facebook's unprecedented growth and its impact. Levchin reportedly argued that Facebook could become the "most valuable company in the world" if it can "successfully replace core messaging," according to Mashable:

"Facebook has all but successfully monopolized White Pages," Levchin said, explaining that when you want to find and connect with someone, you go to Facebook. Unlike the White Pages though, Facebook also has information on a person's interests, likes and social graph. That alone has turned Facebook into a $50 billion company. However, Levchin says that that becoming the repository for personal information could result "in Facebook successfully replacing core messaging." If it becomes the web's primary communication platform, it could become the most valuable company in the world.

As a side note, the social networking giant certainly wants to pull it off. Rumors claim top executives want to see Facebook turn into the world's first trillion dollar company.

Levchin founded another company in 2004: Slide, a personal media-sharing service for social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Google bought his company in August 2010 for $182 million, and so he now works for the search giant, as one of the company's many people with the title "Vice President of Engineering."

It's thus unsurprising that Levchin was quick to emphasize that Facebook's business should not be confused with demand generation or demand discovery (think search). The Ukrainian-born computer scientist and entrepreneur says he has read that social graph signals are not particularly effective in optimizing search-related advertising. I would argue that this may be for today, but what is coming tomorrow has simply not yet materialized. Facebook has some of the best engineering talent in the world.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    why would I want to use facebook as my messaging platform as a posed to standard email which in a 1000 times more flexible? Why would I want to communicate with clients about a project through facebook? Why would I want to send mockups to a client through facebook? Are you joking??? Never gonna happen. Just think about trying to find a message from a client with some info about a project. It's laughable...
    panic man
  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    That guy is in the bubble.
    paul2011
    • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

      @pauliusp

      How much will it be worth when IE9 comes out and the other browsers catch up and everyone will be able to just reject ads and tracking.

      How much is a company worth if it's main revenue source is advertising that everyone can avoid.

      My advice would be to sell now while you can ;-)
      tonymcs@...
      • Fool!!! .....it's IE9 that is catching up to the other Browsers!

        @tonymcs@... Most of them have had addons for ages that block adds, destroy cookies mimic IE ID's and give out false information. All of them have the built in header you can turn on or off that tells these companies you don't want to participate in privacy invasion techniques and tools. This is all just a response from Microsoft toward Firefox who already announced this tool is now being integrated into the browser itself!!!

        Microsoft has always been the last one to innovate anything. Even Google Chrome has already said it's coming in their Beta product too. And RC is just another name for public Beta. It's not even a pre-release with so many bugs already found it's pathetic. It's even already been found to be vulnerable to a Zero Day Attack!!! haha....

        And.... they still don't have near the speed of absolutely any other browser out there. Besides the WORST Security Record in the history of the web. Headed by the worst security API and scripting ever..... ActiveX and VBS!

        So what did they do? Make a sandbox inside the browser that only protects the system in a haphazard way. Why? Because the browser still remains integrated into the operating system and as long as that's true, you can have no Security using IE!!!
        i2fun@...
  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    Great. The largest company by market cap. What exactly does it produce of hard, measureable value? No wonder China will overtake the US as the world's largest economy. Keep it up fellas, you too can live like the emperor with no clothes.
    Bradish@...
  • Nah

    Facebooks draw is fading and many do not even update their pages anymore.

    Google with Youtube is where the smart money is at.
    slickjim
  • We'll see how it goes

    This summer HTC is debuting at least two feature phones with a dedicated, physical button for Facebook functions. Time will tell if other phone makers will follow suit and make this button as iconic as the Windows-logo key on PC keyboards. If that indeed will be the case, then the idea of Facebook becoming a bigger company in capitalization than Microsoft doesn't seem so far-fetched, after all...
    Tech watcher
    • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

      @Tech watcher
      Blah.
      I had a phone with dedicated AT&T button...
      paul2011
  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    What if everyone just quit Facebook overnight? At least Apple makes things you can touch.
    Guardian Angel 1969
  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    All of Facebook's vaporValue is based on the irrational notion that it will be yet another "silver bullet" for advertisers to get results from targetted advertising. Sure, a few people will get rich on this premise, but like 99% of advertising dollars, the money would have more value as toilet paper than trying to convince people to buy something in which they have no interest.
    7mgte
  • How can a FAB be the "most valuable"

    Facebook has only a life-span of a few years. By 2013, it will be a thing of the past (if not earlier), just like MySpace is today.

    Investing on Facebook is like investing on the DOTCOMs of 2000 ... a big waste of money.

    The reason why they don't want US investors is because of the lawsuits they will have to pay once it becomes obvious that all this "expert claims of high value" are nothing but fake posts hyping the scam.
    wackoae
  • RE: PayPal co-founder: Facebook could be 'most valuable company in the world'

    Facebook is Myspace 2.0, Until you show me sales numbers, Amazon is king, baby.
    trust2112@...