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back to article Facebook value plummets $5bn

Facebook has sold 1.96 per cent of itself to a Russian technology investment firm for $200m. That puts Facebook's ostensible value at $10bn, a $5bn drop from the price tag Microsoft put on the company in October 2007. On Tuesday, Facebook announced that Digital Sky Technologies (DST) - which owns Russia's largest website, Mail. …

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Not sure how they're making any money at all,

half the time the only adverts I see on there are for advertising on facebook.

Then again, that might have something to do with me marking every advert I see as offensive or misleading.

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Cash

Sounds to me likely that they are burning $100m per year, the MS cash gave them 2 yrs grace (in '07) & this injection will give them a bit more. If from their "307 million April users" they can't even make enough cash to be in the black now, how can anyone suggest that they are worth $10bn. $200m should buy >20% not 2%!

Was the decimal point in the wrong place in the story? Did someone extrapolate the 70% growth yr on yr graph in a straight line to determine that Facebook will get all the money in the world a few years down the line?!

Seriously, look how much Tiscali's subscribers were worth & they PAY MONEY!

Why are people taking their money out of snake oil and investing in facebook??

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Paris Hilton

So..

Russian email scammers have just bought facebook, and ALL the userdata contained there in ?

What if the Russian company bought FB, and was not restrained by US Data privacy laws?

I can hear the marketing and spam companies creaming their pants right now...

Paris.. just because.

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um... yeah...

growth rate of 70% per year, year after year? Bullshit bitch! anybody want to bet that within 3 to 5 years, facebook will be whoring itself to some big ISP for 50 million as it goes the same route as AOL, angelcities and other "fad sites"; the assumption being that anybody even remembers the name "face book" let alone it's current chief executive moron?

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Dead Vulture

Value, what value?

Why would anyone want to buy into Geoshitties 2.0 anyway? And who gives a toss if it goes under anyway?

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Paris Hilton

I don't understand...

...why Facebook is worth anything at all, let alone $10-$15B?

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Huh?

When was it ever worth even $100? It's a free site, the owners have no problem with advertisers that scam their users and they rely solely on click ads for revenue.

The day I was pleased to have never been suckered in to this website's uselessness was the day I saw a co-worker almost scammed into having a ring tone subscription added to his cell phone bill.

He clicked on what appeared to be a Facebook game/app, some sort of IQ test, and on the last page it asked for his phone number before giving the result. If I hadn't pointed out the minute print at the bottom of the page he would now be a proud subscriber to those ring tones and have no clear idea how to end the service.

It doesn't matter how stupid he was for nearly falling for it, the very fact it was possible to be scammed at all proves Facebook isn't a trustworthy website and certainly nothing I'd be willing to invest real money into.

I don't know how often this site's advertisers run those sorts of scams, but if they need revenue so badly that they're willing to let their own users be scammed it can't possibly be worth any real money. And if they're unaware that this sort of thing happens with certain advertisers, then add incompetence to the list.

A business that's worth something won't usually allow a third party to ruin its reputation.

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Paris Hilton

Re: I don't understand...

"...why Facebook is worth anything at all, let alone $10-$15B?"

These are the sorts of figures you get when you put a bunch of managers in a room with a calculator. I'm beginning to wonder if you could write some kind of seeding mechanisim around them for an encryption algorithm, lets face it they are completely random and totally unpredictable...

Paris, 'cos when it comes to figures hers has value

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re: Re: I don't understand...

"These are the sorts of figures you get when you put a bunch of managers in a room with a calculator."

Hint: punch the numbers into the managers, not the calculator.

It's <smack> worth <thump> how much?

In the internet economy you're just a boring bricks and mortar thinker if you worry about profits. All that counts is to pick two points on the usage graph and predict that in three years everyone on the planet, plus their pets and their toolboxes will each have three Facebook accounts.

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Pirate

Hmmm....

Sound like a lot of hating going on here for a muti-billion dollar/pound company that is defining culture as we know it, for better or worse. After all ALL the lemmings have a facebook account. I for one could care less about the fad, but if I had to pick something cool to see....all those Russian hackers developing facebook into a giant botnet. Click, click, yummm...

Pirates, because they are the anti-culture.

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Unhappy

Love it, hate it, leave it

I really can't see how Facebook can continue for more than a few years anyways. Allegedly there's a gold mine to be had from marketing data as people put all their thoughts, ideas, and whatever online. But all I see anymore are meaningless quizzes, the zero-activity fan pages are falling away, and all that's going is the chatter that never stops.

Some people will never tire of this, they're the ones with all the cellphones in the movie theaters and restaurants. But I'm honestly bored out my mind anymore, and I stopped wondering why people you hadn't seen in 20+ years would add you as a friend and then just say "hi" and that's all.

Where once there seemed a lot of promise in the various apps Facebook was putting out it's all fallen through with endless "what sort of (insert here) are you" quizzes.

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Happy

Hurting Stalkbook

You mean I can, in whatever small way I can, hurt facebook by creating a fake account on there and randomly clicking?

This dot com bubble has a long tail, but hopefully it will pop soon, and take Facebook and its like with it.

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hold on

"What if the Russian company bought FB, and was not restrained by US Data privacy laws?"

Which US data privacy laws? Facebook doesn't collect SSNs and everything else is up for grabs. There's no federal equivalent to the UK's Data Protection Act (and its various EU iterations).

And why does everyone say that mail.ru are a bunch of spammers? They're a serious business and the Runet has some heavy capital and scientific knowledge behind it spread across the US, Europe, Israel and Russia. Of course, that hasn't stopped them investing in Facebook, I admit...

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Flame

i know how they can make money

charge for people like me not to see endless pointless application notifications. somebody tonight was obviously bored and did a whole load of those crappy "what xxxx are you?" so my page looked like:

Steve just took the "What subatomic partical are you?" quiz and the result was "Higgs Boson"

Steve just took the "What 3rd Reich party member are you?" quiz and the result was "Hermann Goering"

Steve just took the "What part of the female genitalia are you?" quiz and the result was "Inner Labia"

etc etc ad nausem.

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Paris Hilton

@Scott 23:42

"Some people will never tire of this, they're the ones with all the cellphones in the movie theaters and restaurants."

I can't agree with you more. My girlfriend is one of these... and she's how old??? Although I've trained her not to use it when I'm around but I can see her wince every time it bleeps or whistles, desperate to get her hands on it.

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@GameCoder

Exactly.

These guys are headed for another dot com boom-bust situation.

Give it a few years and FarceBook and MyTwat will become over-exposed and over-valued victims.

Bitchin' !

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Tragi-comedy

If find it so tragically hilarious to find so many haters of social networking here on the El Reg comments boards. These are mostly the same guys who would have been going crazy over telnet and command line communications modes back in the day. Now that computing has advanced to the point where ordinary people can find a use for it, they're all "why would anyone use that? It's so lame, they're just 'tards".

Is it just a sad, transparent need to seem cool by dissing anything popular? Or is it jealousy that what was once their secret domain is now accessible to everyone's grandma?

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So....

....when will it reach its true value of $12.07?

From what I can tell, Farcebook is haemorrhaging money for pretty much no return and despite the protestations of its "chair-prat" has very little hope for turning a profit anytime soon - short of either directly scamming its users or introducing fees - which would drive 99% of its customers away.

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Nic
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@James 00:20 GMT

"My girlfriend is one of these... and she's how old??? Although I've trained her not to use it when I'm around but I can see her wince every time it bleeps or whistles, desperate to get her hands on it."

I would imagine she is corresponding with your soon to be replacement who presumably isn't arrogant enough to think he can "Train" his girlfriend?

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Anonymous Coward

Just go bankrupt already

I don't understand how anyone can run a company with astronomical costs and no real business plan and still claim its worth billions. Talk about Snake Oil 2.0

Half a million dollars in bandwidth a month and I only use it to play Tetris.

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Stop

Optimistic

With the ongoing lack of a clear business plan or viable advertising model, even $10bn is an optimistic valuation, and I think the market is aware of that. Hence having to tap up emerging markets (which are still relatively new to Facebook) for investment.

At an anecdotal level, it appears that even now Facebook is struggling to keep up with server demand - the site has become noticeably slower over the last few months.

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so much hate

Wow, so much hate facebook can bring....

It's a tool, it kills time when your at wor....err...bored, it helps people keep in touch (it lets me keep in touch with my Canadian friends in a way no other medium currently can) and it helps to organise my social life for me (those less-mainstream parties are damn hard to keep track of)....If you don't like it but use it just because someone told you to, YOU are the sheep - not the people who use it out of choice.

You no likey seeing all those app request? Block them, its reeeeally easy - you dont like facebook? Grow a stronger consitution and stop caving to peer preasure - just stop using it.

.....

Now excuse me, I'm rather disillusioned with my job at the moment so I'm going to spend this fine Wednesday morning finding out what part of the female genitalia I am.....(thanks Spang)

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"If it didn't exist, we'd have to invent it."

Trouble is, it did exist. People keep reinventing USENET over and over again, and wondering why it always dissolves into... well, USENET.

There is clearly a market for people on, 'teh internets', wasting their time, exchanging illegal binary content, swapping trivia and engaging in flamewars. However, USENET is the only one which has ever developed any kind of monetary strategy around this process - albeit one which is a s random as, well, USENET.

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Anonymous Coward

Bubble 2.0

It's here. Just no ones paying any notice.

Investors are pumping even more money into worse investments than they were in 2000.

Luckily it's on a smaller quantity scale.

One company will drop $3bn on one website, rather than 200 companies dropping $200m each onto 200 websites.

None of these websites are worth over $10m when liquidated.

It's such bullshit.

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Why all the hate?

Facebook is mildly useful, and can be customised enough to hide a lot of the nonsense. At the end of the day, it's free and you only have to be involved as much as you want to be, so I don't see why it deserves all the hate.

Still, facebook is worthless in a monetary sense.

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@Chris Harden

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaabaaaaaaaa!

Birch!

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Anonymous Coward

re: face book hating

It's not that I hate face book; in fact I could really give a crap less, but seriously, what is it actually good for than a cheap form of entertainment? Furthermore, from the business perspective, what tangible product do they sell that generates all of this money, they're supposedly bringing in, hand over fist?

It's nothing more than a slightly more interactive version of google, where they appear to embed your content with both legit and illegit advertisements. Some of the quizzes are essentially scams, because unless you read the fine print in the terms and conditions, you can wind up giving the developer of those quizzes full access to your fb profile, which includes access to your credit card (should you be dumb enough to supply it).

As another poster stated, facebook really doesn't have a clear business model that they adhere to. If they do, they're doing a mighty fine job of keeping it secret or they've just been incredibly lucky to at the right place at the right time. Hence the problem... the vast majority of the internet using public is very fickle. What's cool for a year or so ago isn't a year or two later... Even if it is "for free", which is why I believe it's only a matter of time before facebook starts heading the way of my space, geocities, angelfire and other earlier attempts at social networking.

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Paris Hilton

FaCeBoOk

Well sooner or later evryone was going to get bored with facebook!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.digitaldirect.co.uk/

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