Is Facebook waging the wrong battles?
Facebook: Who needs Yahoo, Craigslist, newspapers? Mark Zuckerberg and company have been floating in conjunction with touted new “game changing” Facebook services in the works.
HOW ABOUT MYSPACE?
Despite Zuckerberg’s incredulous insistence that MySpace is not Facebook’s competitive peer, MySpace does indeed reign supreme in the social networking space: MySpace has the friends, and the money.
Tom Anderson counts 175 million friends at MySpace; Rupert Murdoch is to count $500 million in revenues at MySpace this year.
How friendly is Facebook?
Nielsen/NetRatings’ April numbers peg MySpace at 57 million U.S. visitors, compared with Facebook's 14.4 million. Hitwise says MySpace saw 80% of “social networking visits,” seven times Facebook’s “category visits” traffic.
What’s more, MySpace drives traffic to Facebook!
Hitwise: One in four visits (25% of upstream clicks) to the 19 other top social networking sites came directly from MySpace in April 2007, demonstrating the dominance of MySpace and indicating that many users maintain more than one social network.
At the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City Friday, I heard MySpace Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, Jeff Berman, underscore to MoveOn.org that YouTube was built into a $1.65 billion video company, thanks to MySpace.
How do MySpace and Facebook stack up on the monetization front?
Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. CEO, on Fox Interactive Media/MySpace in the company’s F3Q’07 earnings call earlier this month:
Fox Interactive continues to grow steadily both in traffic and revenue metrics. We are on pace to match or exceed our previously stated revenue goal of $500 million to this fiscal year, and have increased our position as the web's most viewed online network with nearly 50 billion page views in the United States and approximately 100 million unique users worldwide each month.
Zuckerberg is in no monetization hurry at Facebook, however.
WSJ: It's unclear how exactly Facebook plans to make money from the (new) platform strategy. Classified advertising; while now free, could eventually become a new revenue stream.
If Facebook has missed its multi billion dollar buyout bonanza opportunity, it ought to double down on its own monetization.