The flame may already be flickering down," quipped John Borthwick, CEO of Betaworks, when we chatted with him at Betaday, a collection of around 500 thinkers, founders, investors and entrepreneurs from the elite of New York and San Francisco’s startup communities. "Look at what happened with Instagram. Facebook was losing the battle for mobile photo sharing, one of its core features. We are living in an era where things are shifting very rapidly, from search to social, from PC to mobile and tablet. If Google had its time at the top of the mountain, Facebook’s will be even shorter. The cycles are getting ever shorter.
A lot of people I speak to have got over what Facebook's charm was to begin with and as they discover what's being done with their info they are less bothered with Facebook. The key thing is that Facebook attempts to be covert about its method of earnings with regards to the user whilst Twitter is a deadly obvious 'it's all public' and Google has been known for a long while how the search engine generates revenue and works to get ads specific. It's the fact that Facebook is pushing the desire for public info whilst still using what is deemed private info to advertise that is its main issue, though this is well known. Move beyond the user and Facebook has very little to offer as does Google but the upside is that Google moved onto the physical market with their users and utilized that data in a meaningful way. Facebook is unlikely to go much further.
Part of that premium comes from the company's incredible reach and recognition which appeals to mom and pop shareholders. "The average person thinks they understand Facebook. They will buy this stock because, duh, they get it. And of course they have no idea what Facebook’s real business is," said Douglas Rushkoff, pacing back and forth on stage during an impassioned set of remarks at Betaday. "I’ve never slept with Zuckerberg, so I don’t know his intentions, hell even if I did, he probably wouldn’t tell me. But I know that in that Facebook boardroom they are not talking about how to help Johnny find more friends. They are worried about how best to sell Johnny’s data to advertisers."
Advertising is a great way to make money but there is a lot more ways to make money and to keep the revenue flowing. One most at the heart of the business, understand that a single failure without any backups could result in a total failure so spreading the risk is just simply common knowledge. This, however, is seemingly something that Facebook seems to be avoiding and so is pushing social graph as much as possible. It is highly powerful but it's practically a total invasion of privacy and I would most definitely prefer giving my info to Apple and Google as I at least know it's ethically used with my permission and I can opt-out when using the services with Apple. In terms of Google I opt in by using Google's services, Facebook started with no opt in or opt out to these advertising services. All in all, $38 for a share isn't that great and a lot of this is hype that will lead to purchasing but it will never get as high as Facebook or Google. Consider a economic crash is forecasted soon, investing in such a business probably won't be the greatest of ideas since the share prices are bound to drop in an economic crash.