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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19769  
Subject: FB Date: 9/24/2012 4:26 PM
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Facebook's stock has sunk from the IPO price of $38 a share to the low $20's. This has gotten a lot of people talking about whether or not this makes the company a good buy. It's certainly cheaper than it was but is it cheap enough based on some sort of realistic estimate of its future cash flows? This isn't the easiest company to value since it's a new company in a new industry (targeted advertising), has no direct peer, and is growing incredibly fast. Usually I run valuations on stodgier companies.

Aswath Damodaran, a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and incredibly generous teacher of valuation techniques, has been following Facebook and posting his ideas as to its valuation. He values the company at around $24, which is a reduction from his first cut valuation of around $28. Damodaran reduced his initial valuation after reading the first 10-Q since the IPO came out, reducing his near term revenue growth rates. Morningstar also covers the company, valuing it higher at around $32.

Both Damodaran and Morningstar ran into the same challenge of estimating revenue growth and operating margins over the next 10 years for such a young, high growth company. Both valuations relate Facebook's possible revenue and operating margin trajectory to Google's, with Damodaran more explicitly grafting Google's historical revenue growth curve onto Facebook's current revenues, growing Facebook's current revenue of about $4 billion to the $40 billion Google makes now over the next ten years. Both valuations have the current stellar 50%-ish operating margin compress over time down to the low to mid 30% range as the company gets bigger, again putting it about in line with Google's current operating margin.

I ran a valuation similar to what Damodaran and Morningstar did for my first cut valuation. Like they did, I assumed that in ten years Facebook would look roughly similar to Google. This isn't completely outlandish. Both companies make money by selling internet advertising on a site so useful/popular that it commands the attention of hundreds of millions of users. In addition, both Google and Facebook know enough about you to run targeted ads, customized to your search and/or user information. However, saying that Facebook will become as successful as Google in about the same timeline as Google did is a bold assumption: Google is one of the most successful companies on the planet. You have to keep that in mind. There is a lot of rosiness baked into the basic valuation assumption!

Let's assume Facebook would be making about what Google does now in ten years, about $40 billion in revenue, ten times what Facebook makes now. As a point of reference, it took Google about eight years to grow revenue from $4 billion to $40 billion, I assume operating margins reduced from about 40% down to 32% to match Google, then matched working capital (which is huge now what with the cash raised from the IPO) down to match Google's, as well as brought down the high capex spending over time to match what Google shells out these days. For revenue growth I looked at both how Facebook was growing recently and how much growth it would take to grow revenue to $40 billion in 10 years. I ended up keeping revenue growth at 35% for the first 5 years and then ramping that down to 8% by year 10, then used 3% terminal growth. Essentially I turned Facebook into Google over ten years. I discounted the future cash flows by 10%.

I used a diluted share count of 2.65 billion, which is the latest figure I read from a fairly accurate source (Barron's this weekend). The share count changes a lot as we bounce through the restricted share unit/stock option lockup periods. For example, the 10-Q, which was just put out July 31 (just two months ago), lists the share count at 1.9 billion shares. Morningstar lists the share count at 2.5 billion shares. Yahoo Finance is way off at 2.14 billion shares.

Discounting those cash flows I ended up with a share value at around $25 a share. That doesn't get me too excited. Basically Facebook has to hit a home run over the next 10 years to be worth about what it's trading at now in the low $20's. Given the uncertainty around Facebook's revenue growth curve I'd want to buy at 40% discount to my valuation, which would put my buy price (if I were interested, which I'm not) at around $15.

Speaking of Barron's, the cover page article this weekend was on Facebook. They're bearish on Facebook, saying it might be worth only $15. Typical of Barron's valuations, few details are offered behind the valuation estimate. Compared to Damodaran's thorough work this all that Barron's said with respect to its valuation technique:

What are the shares worth? Perhaps only $15. That would be roughly 24 times projected 2013 profit and six times estimated 2013 revenue of $6 billion, still no bargain price. Wall Street's consensus estimate for 2013 shows earnings rising 31%, to 63 cents a share.

Damodaran's Facebook valuation:
http://aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com/2012/08/facebook-face-pl...

link to Barron's article (requires subscription):
http://online.barrons.com/article/SB500014240531119047062045...


Mike
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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11657 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 3:52 AM
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Mike,

Good stuff.

No great insight here, just some random thoughts.

The problem with applying traditional valuation techniques to "platform" stocks like Google or Amazon or Facebook is that it is extremely difficult to predict what the future holds.

Amazon has seemed wildly overvalued for most of the past 15 years. Yet, they keep coming up with new ways to make the platform more profitable. Google has had its ups and downs--it looked wildly overvalued 6 years ago at $450/share, but has still managed to return 70% or so from the "wildly overvalued" level and today looks more fairly valued.

Facebook is a similar wildcard. We just have no way of knowing how the company will generate revenue growth in the next decade. They have a platform of 1 billion people. They are clearly struggling to turn eyballs into revenue. However, if they find a very profitable way of leveraging the platform, they could be bigger than Apple.

I have no expectations of such a thing, but I had no expectations of the Kindle which turned the book business for Amazon from low-margin to higher margin, which gave them a platform for movies and videos and competing directly with Apple's iTunes. I had no expectations that Google would create the #1 smartphone operating system in the world--in fact, I dismissed it out of hand when it first arrived because Android 1.0 was so lousy.

In short--I'm really crap at predicting the future (except when it comes to oil prices).

sf

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11658 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 5:24 AM
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In short--I'm really crap at predicting the future (except when it comes to oil prices).

Please share, my demonstrated ability in this regard appears to be limited to "they will change".

B

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Author: saunafool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11661 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 8:01 AM
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Please share, my demonstrated ability in this regard appears to be limited to "they will change".

Now, I'm not going to quit my day job to trade commodities, mind you.

However, early in 2003 or so, I shifted a huge chunk of my portfolio towards oil stocks on the basis that oil prices would climb and remain high for a long time. It was by far the most profitable move I made in the past 10 years.

Now, I have a more neutral position. I don't believe there will be any big moves upward and a more likely scenario is a still-high, but more moderate price of $70-$80/bbl through the end of the decade. (Maybe a bit higher...)

The difference between now and 2003 is that high prices have pushed exploration and new developments to significantly higher levels than in the past. The U.S. production is increasing and demand is falling, causing our imports to drop by significant amounts each year. This trend will likely continue through at least the end of this decade.

Canada will be producing 5 million bpd of tar sands by 2030. Iraq is increasing production and exports. Exports from the former Soviet states are increasing (Khazakstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan).

Alternative fuel production GTL, biofuel, etc... is increasing.

Plus, significant energy efficiency gains are baked into the cake with higher MPG requirements coming down the line in the U.S.

Yes, there is more demand coming online from China and India, but the U.S. and Europe are reducing demand, and new, some potentially very large supplies are coming onto the market in the next decade.

So, I see a much more diverse supply base with more resistance to shocks from a single location. In short, I think we will see a more stable oil market. There will undoubtedly be a lot of volatility in the price day to day as there always is. A war with Iran and all bets are off. Chinese economic collapse and all bets are off.

However, I'm a big believer that the modern world will muddle through. Assuming that is the case, I expect high oil prices to fade from the headlines over the next decade.

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11662 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 10:16 AM
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In short--I'm really crap at predicting the future (except when it comes to oil prices).


Me too, saunafool. :)

For the reasons you stated I wouldn't short Facebook here and I might get interested in buying it if it gets low enough. But I'm not interested buying in the low $20's if, at least to my reckoning, that price assumes it needs to become another Google just to be fairly valued.


Mike

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11664 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 10:32 AM
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Now, I have a more neutral position. I don't believe there will be any big moves upward and a more likely scenario is a still-high, but more moderate price of $70-$80/bbl through the end of the decade. (Maybe a bit higher...)

Thanks, I agree with much of what you said, although your's may be the first analysis/prediction of world production & usage that didn't include the Saudis. :<)

Any thoughts/strategies (or specific companies) on how to play it?

B

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Author: TMFHelical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11665 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 10:47 AM
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Sorry if this has been covered but here is my 2 cents.

Both Damodaran and Morningstar ran into the same challenge of estimating revenue growth and operating margins over the next 10 years for such a young, high growth company.

I do not think this is the problem. The problem with technology is not so much growth estimated, but that you can not assign a terminal value. Facebook will be supplanted one day. Honestly, it may even be unrealistic to expect it to last 10 more years. Less than 10 years ago the top website was MySpace -- what is the terminal value there??

So, one simply can not use the 'after 10 years will grow at the rate of inflation'. It will not! It will either still be quite relevant and growing better than that, or it will be a busted shell of its once impressive self. Deflationist Gary Shilling makes the excellent point in his books that technology firms live in a constantly deflationary environment, and that is why they often appreciate the importance of high cash on the balance sheet (he thinks all his points are profound, but I just think this one is). Today's tech products have so little value in the future. For Tech, terminal value is cash on hand, and perhaps just a bit more based on whatever stickiness of the onetime user may exist.

In a question on his initial valuation post, Prof. Damodaran waves off a question that notes 80% of his Facebook valuation resides in the terminal value, saying such is often the way of high growth firms. "As for the terminal value being 80% of value, that is exactly what you should expect with a high growth company, since you will make your money primarily from price appreciation."

His valuation of Facebook puts way to much value in the terminal value. It will either by substantially more, or substantially less, but that is where almost all the uncertainty lies in my opinion.

Ralph
Helical Investor

P.S. - One could argue that Apple has therefore diminished its value by paying a dividend.

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Author: BFatConservative One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11666 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 11:07 AM
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TMFHelical -

Spot on - as someone who is in business valuation, this a very common misguided assumption... Especially when valuing a pure tech / social media company.

It is more realistic to me to instead project out on a yearly basis for 10 years, or if you do want a terminal value, double/triple the cap rate in order to discount future earnings to a more probable level. All of this requires a lot of assumptions, but terminal value is far too often the "meat" of a valuators value.

MjH

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Author: NozRydr Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11667 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 12:18 PM
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<<In short--I'm really crap at predicting the future (except when it comes to oil prices).>>


me three -- add waste disposal and water to that list (and least in our neck of the woods).

WM is tempting me to add more with yet another pullback. Everytime I pay my (ever increasing) trash disposal bill I look at my WM dividend and it takes a bit of the pain away. ;)

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11668 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 1:15 PM
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Putting Facebook's revenue trend or margin trendline next to Google's is absurd. Google's model allowed millions of advertisers to participate with almost no overhead cost structure. Bidding against each other, Google's advertisers maximize revenue for The search giant, and more to the point, most of them pay up front!

By contrast, Facebook is in the traditional advertising business, convincing WalMart to include some banner ads on the site, and dreaming up  ways to make users "like" a particular page, site, or deal.

Perhaps someday Facebook will figure up a way to do the frictionless advertising that pours so many nickels, dimes, and quarters into Google's pockets, but  for the time being, they're not close. Every sale requires a sales call, or four, and dealing with ad agencies and large corporations they pay in arrears, usually discounted, and in far fewer chunks than what Google gets. Facebook has fewer targets, has almost infinitely higher cost of sales, and gets paid later. No comparison, except perhaps they both show up on your computer screen.

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Author: Gerazzo One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11669 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 2:22 PM
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I am not a regular Facebook user, but visit friends pages occasionally. I have yet to see an ad on any of their pages. I use Ad Block Plus so that may block them. Also, I have never gone to a corporate Facebook page and see no reason to "like" any of them. How is Facebook going to be the next Google?

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11670 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 3:18 PM
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While FB could go either way.....it is a substantial business......

where are the barriers to entry?

anyone at any time can pull their ads and go to any other place on the web......or TV which is becoming more web centric......or radio or print....etc.....or even another social media outlet.....ouch.....


how cheap will FB advertizing get?

then there is the possible after election meltdown....why wait even that long? if the markets are to meltdown.....who wants a bet on anything right now.....

my sky is falling....

Dave

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11671 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 3:22 PM
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for those who do very little with FB.....the gambling part of FB is the one solid thing about it.....if you play mafia wars you get a free shot every time you sign in to play the slot machine.....but they start to offer you more plays of the virtual machine if you buy tokens with a credit card......your card is not virtual at all.....

Dave

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Author: Hohum777 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11672 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 3:34 PM
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Some numbers on Mafia Wars

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_Wars

Not only are the numbers declining, but
- Mafia Wars is available on MySpace, Facebook, as an iPhone App and as a Google Chrome app.

- Mafia Wars 2 is available on Facebook and Google+.

So the game is available on sites other than FB

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11673 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 3:34 PM
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Putting Facebook's revenue trend or margin trendline next to Google's is absurd.


I might not go so far as to say it's absurd, but I did say it's a very rosy scenario to do so. My point in the valuation was that I couldn't make a good case for investing in it in the low $20's even when I set Facebook up to hit a home run (i.e. match Google's growth rates).

Who knows. It may monetize mobile and revenue growth might expand much more than 35% in the first few years. But that's even more optimistic than my optimistic scenario.

Unlike Myspace, Facebook has such a large number of users I could see it be around for a while, difficult to displace (I for one wouldn't want to repost all my pictures on another platform if I didn't have to). I just don't think it's a good buy where it's trading right now. At least I can't make a good case for buying it here.


Mike

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11675 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 4:30 PM
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where are the barriers to entry?

The network effect. They are now big enough that any newcomer (Ping, anyone? Google+ anyone?) has to overcome the huge installed base that Facebook already has, which makes the service more useful. MySpace never got close to that: http://boards.fool.com/poll-who-had-myspace-30241945.aspx

anyone at any time can pull their ads and go to any other place on the web

Which is also true of Google, NBC, The New York Times, or the Rush Limbaugh show.

I might not go so far as to say it's absurd, but I did say it's a very rosy scenario to do so.

Well, I'm going to stick with "absurd." So far there has been no demonstration of any method of producing advertising revenue from millions of users in any shape or fashion. Gaming was a good one for a while, but there are now multiple platforms available which developers can use; that was not true at the beginning of the Facebook/Zynga (or other) era. Note I am not saying Facebook can't find other ways to monetize, including games, just that it seems unlikely to be as lucrative as fast as Google grew at the beginning.

I am not a regular Facebook user, but visit friends pages occasionally. I have yet to see an ad on any of their pages.

I see ads every time I sign on, in fact they are increasing in frequency these past two months. (Few of them are political, most of them are of the "Suzie Jones likes WalMart" or "Alan Jennings chose a bouquet from Avis Flowers" variety.) There is certainly some consideration changing hands here, but it's nothing like Google. Every time I do a search on Google I see 5 advertisers I've never heard of before. Every time I see an ad on Facebook, it's from one of the same 5 Facebook advertisers over again.

Facebook will be supplanted one day. Honestly, it may even be unrealistic to expect it to last 10 more years. Less than 10 years ago the top website was MySpace -- what is the terminal value there??

As I say, different issue. MySpace never gained that all important network effect. Facebook has it. Now it's possible that Facebook will be a fad, the Citizens' Band Radio of the 2000's, but I don't think so. The meme seems to work, the reception is clear, the people communicating are doing so with friends, not roughnecks on the roads, and so on.

And I disagree with needing to predict a terminal value in 10 years in order to assign a value. What is the terminal value of the Motley Fool ten years from now? We have no idea, do we? And yet somebody somewhere will be happy to assign a value, and perhaps even buy the whole shootin' match from the Gardners for some price.

I nibbled at Facebook at 18 and change. I think it could do down another $5 from there, or, depending on earnings, pop up (less likely, given my airy projections about how hard it will be to grow their advertising base). But if it goes below my price I will probably nibble again, because long term I am pretty sure that given two billion eyeballs, there's revenue to be had. (I am not sure that Zuckerberg is the right guy to find it, but that's a different issue.)

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11677 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 6:52 PM
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Well, I'm going to stick with "absurd."


Goofyhoofy,

Interestingly, someone on the TMF Pro boards also called my comparison to Google absurd but they did so because they thought Facebook would grow revenue much more rapidly than Google was able to, citing the billion member user base. I remain unconvinced but it's interesting seeing how people come down on both sides of the issue.

I agree with you that Facebook will be much hard to supplant than Myspace was due to the user base size.


Mike

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11678 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 8:56 PM
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Nevertheless, Goofy, there is the question of the revenue model. While I don't think one would have predicted 10 years ago that Google would be as successful as they have been, it doesn't follow that any other popular internet company is going to duplicate that ... or exceed it. Such thinking is reminiscent of the internet bubble ... lots of cool ideas and no idea how to monetize them. FB has that experience to build on, but that doesn't mean that they have a solution or that what solution they have is going to work as well as Google's. While there are a lot of people who us FB, there are no small number of those who hate it too. They seem to have a talent for alienating users.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11680 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 9:21 PM
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While there are a lot of people who us FB, there are no small number of those who hate it too.

Irrelevant. There are lots of people who hate Fox News and the New York Times. That doesn't stop them from selling advertising to those who don't.

Nevertheless, Goofy, there is the question of the revenue model. While I don't think one would have predicted 10 years ago that Google would be as successful as they have been, it doesn't follow that any other popular internet company is going to duplicate that ... or exceed it. Such thinking is reminiscent of the internet bubble ... lots of cool ideas and no idea how to monetize them. FB has that experience to build on, but that doesn't mean that they have a solution or that what solution they have is going to work as well as Google's.

I'm not sure who you're disagreeing with. That's exactly my position: that Facebook is unlikely to match Google's metrics unless and until they find a way to induce tens of thousands of advertisers to join in - without all the traditional wining and dining and powerpoint presentations and sales calls and falderall that accompanies most other typical advertising.

Google has a system whereby the don't have to do anything but improve their product. NBC, The Wall Street Journal, the Yellow Pages, WFAN, all of them have to shoulder huge sales costs in personnel, research, travel, entertainment to get ad dollars, and they can at best make hundreds of sales calls each month, where Google gets thousands of new advertisers a day. (Yes, the dollars are smaller, but the vastly larger base means more gross dollars.)

While I am sure I could make a few bucks with two billion eyeballs, I'm also not in the camp that thinks all eyeballs are the same. In radio we saw various formats convert audience at vastly different rates: country music listeners were worth less to advertisers than all-news listeners, for example. By a factor of 2 to 1, at least until Country became "cool". I've been out of the business for a decade, so the numbers may have changed, but last I was there, cable TV had a 50% eyeball share but only a 35% advertising share, even with better audience targeting. Why was that? (It was easy to buy NBC and cover the country; to get similar coverage using cable you had to buy 10-20 networks, each with its own negotiation, billing system, account rep, etc. It was simply harder to spend money with cable, then monitor the ad buy, insert make-goods for blown spots, run the billing, send checks. It was just a lot more grunt work. [This is not a perfect analogy. It is a demonstration that not all eyeballs are equal.])

I think the people who expect the Facebook revenue picture to parallel that of Google are in for a rude awakening. Of course Google wasn't the money machine it is today until it found the "ask/bid" ad system it uses, which is hyper-efficient on the sales side. Maybe Facebook will find one of those, but I'll doubt it. (Yahoo! and AOL have been casting about for something other than banner ads for nearly 20 years and haven't stumbled on it. AOL & Yahoo! have a nice little business. Emphasis on 'little', comparatively speaking.) If Facebook finds some other revenue source, then I'll retract my pessimism, but I'm not betting on that, either.

In the meantime I have some shares, but I'm not expecting much, short term.

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11682 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/25/2012 9:30 PM
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I think the hate factor is important because it creates a builtin incentive for people to decide to got elsewhere. Google+ is not much of a risk yet, but it is not chicken liver either so a big defection based on some new outrage could easily trigger a much bigger movement.

For the rest, I pretty much agree.

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Author: platykurtic Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11685 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 5:24 AM
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The network effect. They are now big enough that any newcomer (Ping, anyone? Google+ anyone?) has to overcome the huge installed base that Facebook already has, which makes the service more useful.
I agree on the network effect point. There are very few - perhaps only 1 or 2 - real challengers to Facebook that stand any chance of competing.

Ironically given the quote above, Google+ is probably in the 2 (along with Twitter as long as Twitter doesn't self destruct). Google has the infrastructure; Google+ in my experience is a vibrant and fast developing community; the service is fully featured and is leading social networks' feature development and there are real integration opportunities with Google's other leading services as well as access to advertisers far less 'dodgy' than on Facebook. It's also the fastest growing social network ever and already a significant proportion of Facebook's size at 400M registered users and a reported 100M active users (you could argue the numbers, but the same argument would apply to Twitter and Facebook, so the comparison is probably valid). http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/17/googles-vic-gundotra-google...

So overall - I'd view the continued growth of Google+ as another potential revenue inhibiting factor on Facebook.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11687 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 9:02 AM
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Ironically given the quote above, Google+ is probably in the 2 (along with Twitter as long as Twitter doesn't self destruct). Google has the infrastructure; Google+ in my experience is a vibrant and fast developing community; the service is fully featured and is leading social networks' feature development and there are real integration opportunities with Google's other leading services as well as access to advertisers far less 'dodgy' than on Facebook. It's also the fastest growing social network ever and already a significant proportion of Facebook's size at 400M registered users and a reported 100M active users (

There is a difference between users and using. I registered for a Google+ account (I am therefore a user), but except for the very first day, have never been back. That roughly parallels my wife's experience, and a friend I suggested sign up back at the beginning.

Now I am not saying Facebook can't be beat, but given the huge installed base AND active using component, they will have to screw it up for the other guy to get a foothold.

I think the hate factor is important because it creates a builtin incentive for people to decide to got elsewhere.

If you're talking about sales, then I would point to Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern who have astronomical hate figures and still managed to get millions of advertising dollars. If you're talking about users, well, the proof is in the pudding, and I see no great mass migration away from Facebook, your personal objections to the contrary.

Deflationist Gary Shilling makes the excellent point in his books that technology firms live in a constantly deflationary environment, and that is why they often appreciate the importance of high cash on the balance sheet (he thinks all his points are profound, but I just think this one is). Today's tech products have so little value in the future. For Tech, terminal value is cash on hand, and perhaps just a bit more based on whatever stickiness of the onetime user may exist.

Tech products have so little value in the future? Microsoft is 30 years old. Yahoo and AOL 20. Apple 30. IBM well over 50 (as a computer/tech firm). Sony started in 1945, HP in 1935. I think it's important to remember that in their day, RCA and GE were "high tech" along with a raft of others who entered new, unknown markets with unknowable futures. And if there have been flameouts along the way, well, why is that different from furniture stores, conglomerates, drug makers, or any other sector?

Facebook may not survive, they may kill it with stupid policies on privacy, or overloading it with ads, or whatever, but the FORM is going to survive. It's too useful, just like email or web pages or whatever. I'm not worried that the form will wither like CB Radio did, so the only (only!) threat is that they don't run the business well and somebody else takes it. That seems unlikely, at least so far, and if it was to happen it could not happen overnight given the prodigious number of users and using which would have to happen to make it so.

There will be plenty of warning and time to get out or adjust as might be appropriate.

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Author: anthonyms Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11689 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 9:19 AM
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so the only (only!) threat is that they don't run the business well and somebody else takes it. That seems unlikely

And you think letting a young hoody nerd like Mark Zuckerberg or whatever his name run it is running it well? Would you have him run your company if you owned it? I think FB is a joke of a business and Mark Zuckerberg the most unimpressive CEO I have ever heard of.

A

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Author: TMFHelical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11690 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 10:24 AM
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Now I am not saying Facebook can't be beat, but given the huge installed base AND active using component, they will have to screw it up for the other guy to get a foothold.

I'm less sure. Geocities once had a 'huge installed base' of active internet users -- then MySpace did. One could say they both 'screwed up', but Facebook too has tweaked its customers on multiple occasions.

But honestly, I think it is the nature of the media format to gravitate to the 'new' and 'cool'. So I consider it inevitable that users move on from facebook to explore whatever new format gets offered up. Plus, as we age and (hopefully) mature, some of our past associations get old and outdated. We reset our social networks as we move from say high school to college and workplace to workplace. Sure we pull forward a few of our past associations, but not too broadly and we limit the mingling of them. So, Facebook has a problem in that many users would like to 'reset' it from time to time, and moving on to something else is an easy way to do so.

I know this board focuses on value, but Facebook is a classic momentum play, and it doesn't have that right now (I think of a lot of tech this way - but not all). Invest with the assumption that its demise (or at least loss of relevance) is inevitable. It may already be on the downswing, as it is mostly a desktop platform for an increasingly mobil world. Perhaps a featured up Twitter could be Facebook's demise?

And yes, It think the same thing is true of Apple (but likely to be less rapid).

Ralph
Helical Investor

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Author: platykurtic Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11693 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 1:10 PM
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I registered for a Google+ account (I am therefore a user), but except for the very first day, have never been back.
So you are in the 400M but not the 100M. The 100M figure is considered solid in that it requires people to use the site recently and regularly (the way Google confirmed it was defined).

Interestingly this parallels my (anecdotal) experience of Facebook, that the number of registered users vastly exceeds the number of regular users.

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Author: 2001Cobra Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11694 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 1:52 PM
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I have quite a few FB friends that almost never post. Like once every few months or so...

The biggest complaint I have is the adds are becoming really annoying and ruining the FB experience. I honestly don't want to see any ads. I don't care if my friend likes Walmart or Amazon. It clutters the page. My wife and I have actually discussed dropping FB altogether. I understand they went public, and now have financial obligations. This was great for insiders, might be great for investors, but was horrible for consumers. It marks the end of the road when customer satisfaction outweighted economics...

If another FB came along, an upstart, without ads, I would drop FB in a second. Plus, now I can share my photos with my family and friends thru the Iphone without ever having to post them on FB...

Cobra

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11695 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 2:40 PM
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FaceBook on FireFox with AdBlocker seems to take care of the ad problem.

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11696 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 3:13 PM
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FaceBook on FireFox with AdBlocker seems to take care of the ad problem.

Speaking of problems...

I always used IE because, well, I've always used IE.

Awhile back after getting fed up with how slow it was I capitulated and switched to Chrome which solved my problem or so I thought until recently. Now all of a sudden Chrome crashes all of the time and after Googling the problem I've read that it is a conflict related (likely) to Adobe flash.

Can you (or anyone) tell me if switching to Firefox will solve my problem permanantly.

Did I mention I despise computers? :<(

B

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11697 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 3:31 PM
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I despair of anything fixing anything permanently. I have all three on my box. I use IE when I have to ... certain sites such as those from Microsoft will only work there. I use Chrome as an alternate, e.g., when I want to log into the same site with two different IDs. My workhorse is FireFox, typically 5 browsers with a bunch of tabs each. I was having a lot of trouble with FF eating up memory and getting sloggy and then crashing, but that seems to have improved over the last 4 or 5 releases ... which are coming pretty fast these days. It still helps to restart it periodically, though. But, if I kill it in the Task Manager and reopen it, then all my sessions are restored. AdBlocker works great and is a big reason for not considering Chrome.

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11698 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 3:49 PM
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I agree with you that Facebook will be much hard to supplant than Myspace was due to the user base size.

simple math FB has one billion USER ACCOUNTS.....

real math....not even close......

if you take out the commercial accounts like Messi's page since messi spends probably no time seeing anyone else there etc.....and you take out accounts like mine where I spend less than five minutes there per week.....and you take away repeat accounts and other 'dead wood accounts'......

maybe you have half or less of FB left over.......and then if you look at the actual usage numbers it is definitely not HOUR FOR HOUR that used by many folks.....

...then look at the young folks without wallets and older folks who wont use it much with wallets......you get my drift.....

FOX watchers have spending power beyond the average FB user is my bet...and the boob tube is on FOX in some places all day....FB pages come and go rather fast.....it is a difference media.....

If you watch a half a minute or minute TV ad....it has more impact for the dollar than skipping a page on FB......

the barriers to entry question was not really answered btw.......because it is not like there are no speed bumbs to exit.....so to speak....I am saying in general FB will need to lower their advertizing rates to keep alive......

Remember they <FB> have 500 million or so active users....and a lot of other dead wood to support......FOX news broadcasts and drops into another segment at lower costs if I am saying that well enough.....perhaps not this last bit.....it is a different medium.....

Dave

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Author: horacekgl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11699 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 3:51 PM
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But Adblock works in Chrome, so I miss your point. I'm on Chrome now and right up there in the top right corner is Adblock humming along. I don't see adds on Google, I don't see ads here on the Fool (are there any ads here these days?).

FF is my workhorse, but Chrome is getting more and more use because it loads so much faster (I don't tend to leave applications open when I'm not using them so I fire up a browser only when I need it).

New browser? first install is Adblock, second is Lastpass, then Xmarks bookmark sync -- that's about all the extensions I use.

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Author: Hohum777 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11700 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 4:09 PM
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if you take out the commercial accounts like Messi's page since messi spends probably no time seeing anyone else there etc...

Are you sure about this?

You need to know the code ...

Hahahaha!

(not laughing at you, that's the code :) )

https://www.facebook.com/10.L.Messi.10


Hahahaha HoHum

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11701 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 4:09 PM
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What do you know. When I last seriously tried Chrome because FF was giving me fits, I didn't think there was AdBlock, but, sure enough, now installed! Thanks.

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Author: rjf53 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11702 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 4:20 PM
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But Adblock works in Chrome,

Forgot to mention Adblock crashes also, frequently on or about the same time. :<(

B

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11703 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 4:23 PM
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It's also the fastest growing social network ever and already a significant proportion of Facebook's size at 400M registered users and a reported 100M active users

Actually not. Facebook "daily active" users are 450 million, while "monthly active" users are 850 million. These are Facebook numbers, but I take them at their word since they are a public company and this is "material" information. At its peak MySpace had more users than Google+ does now. That doesn't mean that Google+ can't improve; certainly they have other infrastructures which could help, and I'm happy to have a competitor in the ring with Facebook.

[Incidentally, that ration of "monthly" to "daily" is about typical. We saw the same phenomenon in radio, where we built the majority of our listening volume (that's what ratings actually is, not discrete listeners) with those heavy users. Other marketing research I have seen for frequently patronized businesses like McDonald's, etc. show about the same ratios.)

But honestly, I think it is the nature of the media format to gravitate to the 'new' and 'cool'.

Sometimes. That doesn't exactly explain the longevity of CBS, NBC and ABC, or of the New York Times, or the Rush Limbaugh show, or Yahoo! and AOL which still rack up prodigious eyeballs.

Plus, as we age and (hopefully) mature, some of our past associations get old and outdated. We reset our social networks as we move from say high school to college and workplace to workplace. Sure we pull forward a few of our past associations, but not too broadly and we limit the mingling of them.

I couldn't disagree more. For every one that falls off, we add two new ones. My wife's Facebook list (extensive) is about 30% "growing up friends' and "high school." Mine is about 10%, but then I didn't have a lot of friends in high school.

I know this board focuses on value, but Facebook is a classic momentum play,

Maybe at this moment in time, but in reality it's a media concern which is too young to value properly.

The biggest complaint I have is the adds are becoming really annoying and ruining the FB experience. I honestly don't want to see any ads. I don't care if my friend likes Walmart or Amazon. It clutters the page.

I agree, which is a significant problem, and one I'm not sure Zuperman is prepared to solve. Then again, they're a public company and need to show revenue. If Google+ can remain ad-free and be subsidized by the search engine elsewhere, they can win. But any independent competitor is going to have to generate income somewhere, too.

If another FB came along, an upstart, without ads, I would drop FB in a second.

Only if most of your friends did so at the same time. That's why I haven't been back to Google+; there was nobody there. Literally, I wouldn't see a new post for days.

Think of the Motley Fool. It gets better as it gets more posters. When a board loses "attendance" it becomes useless. Go see what the Starbucks board is talking about these days. Oops, nobody there. A decade ago it got 50 new posts a day. "Nobody there" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody goes because there's nobody there. Nobody there because nobody goes. Yogi Berra was right!

maybe you have half or less of FB left over.......and then if you look at the actual usage numbers it is definitely not HOUR FOR HOUR that used by many folks.....

The average Facebook user spends about 8 hours per month on the site. Add another 4 hours if you include apps and other functions. The typical Google user spends about 2. But Google has a far better way of monetizing, so "use" isn't necessarily a direct coorrelation with "revenue."

...then look at the young folks without wallets and older folks who wont use it much with wallets......you get my drift.....

Yes. Your drift is wrong. Facebook users skew a little younger than average Americans, which is what the majority of advertisers want. (Google advertisers don't care about age, they care about "clickers.") Other than that, Facebook users are remarkably "average" in income and purchase decisions. They have an excellent demographic story to tell, but they are having trouble executing it in a new medium. Google solved that problem by segregating its ads; imagine if it put the ads interlaced with the "actual" search results. That's what Facebook is doing, and it's a mistake.

If you watch a half a minute or minute TV ad....it has more impact for the dollar than skipping a page on FB......

And likewise for magazines and newspapers, yet those are multibillion dollar industries anyway. If you get my drift.

Remember they <FB> have 500 million or so active users....and a lot of other dead wood to support

What other "dead wood"? Nearly all of their content is user generated. They provide servers and backend services, not unlike the Motley Fool (the unpaid boards, not the subscription side of the house). Game developers come to them and pay them a toll to be carried on the platform. If Facebook could come up with a competitor to Amazon who would do so, get the music and video companies to do so, and so on, they'd be in fat city. Instead they're littering up the place with "Johnny likes WalMart" stuff. I suspect they will figure it out, but maybe not.

It will be interesting, and while it's not a sure thing, they are far ahead in the race - at least until Google+ shows up with some credibility. It's growing, but then so is Facebook.

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11704 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 4:54 PM
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I haven't had an issue with AdBlock for years. About 3 years back I think we had trouble with a few videos, but nothing else.

Is your installation up to date?

Is your computer stable in other respects?

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Author: platykurtic Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11705 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 7:30 PM
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It's also the fastest growing social network ever and already a significant proportion of Facebook's size at 400M registered users and a reported 100M active users

Actually not.

Actually it is. "Fastest growing" was the term used not largest. It took something like 4.5 years for Facebook to record over 400M registered users whereas Google+ is only 1.25 years old. To get to 100M active users took almost exactly the same length of time.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11706 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 8:10 PM
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Actually not.
Actually it is. "Fastest growing" was the term used not largest.


I wasn't referring to "fastest growing." I was referring to "significant proportion of Facebook's size." It's about 20% in terms of active users, but far less than that in terms of usAGE. So far less it's almost unmeasurable.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing stats released by ComScore, Google's social network averaged at about 3 minutes of activity per user in the month of January. Comparatively, Google+'s stats fall drastically short of its competition, with Twitter garnering 21 minutes, Myspace 8 minutes, LinkedIn 17 minutes, Pinterest 89 minutes, Tumblr 89 minutes and Facebook a whopping 405 minutes (roughly 6.75 hours). It is important to note that the study omits mobile usage though the likelihood that the service would make sizable gains on Facebook or Pinterest is slim.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/02/28/study-google-usage-lo...

That's the most recent stat I can find, and it's from 7 months ago, but even if it tripled Google+ would still be irrelevant. (I note that Facebook says almost half of its use is going to mobile, which is not counted in this survey. Is it likely that Google+ has 30 times the mobile usage as Facebook on mobile?)

Again, "users" is not important. UsING is what matters.

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11707 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 9:06 PM
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While I know it is hard to gauge usage among groups which one is not a part of, there is something about these numbers which I find questionable. Given the large number of registered used who essentially never go there, are they being counted or is it just some definition of active user that is included? And what is use? E.g., I keep a browser window open on Facebook all the time ... among many, many other places because I don't want to have to ho through the navigation. But, I don't spend much time there on any visit ... a quick scroll through anything new, half of which I can't read because a lot of my friends are international and posting the bulk of their traffic in their native language, and once in 20 visits or more I actually post something. How does that get tallied as usage, especially since I never see any ads!

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11708 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 9:42 PM
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How does that get tallied as usage, especially since I never see any ads!

As I uncderstand the methodology, and although I have read some about it I might not since my area of career expertise was broadcasting, you are a "user" if you visit the site one in the defined period. For an "active monthly user" you need visit the site only once in a month. For an "active daily user" you must visit the site on a daily basis during the month.

How they tally the "minutes used" I don't know, but it would be logical that they tally when your browser window opens and when you disconnect from their server. This is obviously not a perfect measure, but then nothing is. Nielsen doesn't tally when you go to the refrigerator or bathroom during a commercial break on television, newspapers don't tally when you turn from page 2 to page 6 and completely skip the international section, radio doesn't tally when you punch the car radio button to change stations. (Well, actually radio now does that thanks to some gee-whiz technology, but it's only available in selected markets with a small number of people.)

Anyway, there are lots of ifs and buts and candies and nuts in any survey operation. TiVo impacts television viewing greatly, but is imperfectly measured. Newspaper subscribers don't read the whole thing, and the number of homes where the Yellow Pages is delivered isn't the same thing as the number of homes where the Yellow Pages is actually used. C'est la vie.

How does that get tallied as usage, especially since I never see any ads!

Everybody says they never pay attention to ads, yet if you go into their house you find brand names on every shelf: under the sink, in the medicine cabinet, in the pantry, in the freezer - and nearly every product has cheaper alternatives available, so I conclude that people don't THINK they see ads, but they do.

The Facebook newsfeed page has ads running down the right hand side; there are ads inserted into the newsfeed, there are plugs for games my friends are playing, there are offers to listen to new records, and more. Those all count. Those are "ads."

But, I don't spend much time there on any visit

Some people barely turn on the radio: just long enough to get a traffic report. Some people listen all day at work in a dress shop. They are both listenERs, but the amount of listenING is very different. Arbitron accounts for both, tabulates both, and reports both in a fashion that advertisers can use, depending on their aims. I am sure that web statistics are the same, even if they are somewhat differently presented.
 


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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11709 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 9:57 PM
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There is, of course, a difference between radio and the web. A radio is on or not, tuned to a given station or not. One may not be paying much attention to it, but unless the voljme is at zero, it is being heard at some level. By contrast, I can have a tab in one browser instance open to Facebook, automatically updating day and night, but no way is it even visible to me most of this time. One needs media-appropriate metrics.

Note too, re the comparison to Google+, that there is a volume element here. I check FB more often than G+ because it changes more often, but if G+ volume start to build, that could change rapidly.

Point being, that it is tricky to see too big a moat in this kind of number.

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Author: MarkMarcellus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11710 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 10:03 PM
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Awhile back after getting fed up with how slow it was I capitulated and switched to Chrome which solved my problem or so I thought until recently. Now all of a sudden Chrome crashes all of the time and after Googling the problem I've read that it is a conflict related (likely) to Adobe flash.

Can you (or anyone) tell me if switching to Firefox will solve my problem permanantly.


Getting rid of Flash will solve your problem permanently. Flash is a poorly behaved security nightmare. Just say no. Or, if you aren't willing to boycott all sites that require flash, then just use it in one browser and don't use it in the rest.

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11711 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/26/2012 10:37 PM
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Other than that, Facebook users are remarkably "average" in income and purchase decisions

goofy,

I have only glanced at stuff here on the fool, but isn't income dropping for most folks across the US right now?

Dave

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11713 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 2:03 AM
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I used a diluted share count of 2.65 billion, which is the latest figure I read from a fairly accurate source (Barron's this weekend).


I verified the share count from 8-K describing the RSU vesting schedule. At the end of October (October 25 is the net settlement date for the RSU's), the share count is expected to look like this:


After giving effect to the net settlement described above (and based on shares, options and RSUs outstanding as of August 30, 2012), we will have on the net settlement date:

912,321,482 shares of Class A common stock outstanding;
1,354,219,182 shares of Class B common stock outstanding;
113,711,519 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of options outstanding under our 2005 Stock Plan and 2012 Equity Incentive Plan;
60,000,000 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon the exercise of an option held by Mark Zuckerberg;
173,795,517 shares of Class B common stock and 5,481,080 shares of Class A common stock subject to RSUs outstanding under our 2005 Stock Plan and 2012 Equity Incentive Plan; and
22,999,395 shares of Class B common stock issuable upon completion of our acquisition of Instagram, Inc.



That's a grand total of 2.637 billion shares.


link to 8K:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1326801/0001193125123...


Mike

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11715 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 8:26 AM
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The company says outstanding shares are 2.74 billion.

http://boards.fool.com/but-before-i-reply-to-the-bulk-of-you...

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11716 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 8:42 AM
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A radio is on or not, tuned to a given station or not. One may not be paying much attention to it, but unless the voljme is at zero, it is being heard at some level

You might think so, but having spent 30 years in the business and having seen (literally) tens of millions of dollars worth of research, I assure you you're wrong. People can have a station on the entire day, have had the call letter blasted at them every three minutes for eight hOurs, and have no idea what station it is, nor any ability to recall a single commercial they have "heard".

Having a browser window open is analogous to having a radio on but not paying much attention, or having a tv on while engrossed in reading a book. Both may count for the respective ratings, they may get the occasional glance or listen, but they are not really meaningful, nor a significant source of the actual ratings number. They are noise, and probably a small part.

All ratings come with qualifiers such as margin of error and confidence levels (two different things), and the "noise" falls somewhere in there.

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Author: TMFSandman Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11717 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 10:51 AM
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The company says outstanding shares are 2.74 billion.


Thanks, Goofyhoofy. I read that article but had trouble trusting the source (Henry Blodget) so I ended up not using that number. But I did put it in my list of various share counts reported for the company.


Mike

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11718 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 10:57 AM
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isn't income dropping for most folks across the US right now?

No, it has been rising.

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11719 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 3:03 PM
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http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-09-11/media...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-23/u-s-incomes-feel-mo...

deep drops Tamhas.

Dave

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11720 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/27/2012 3:13 PM
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http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.ht...

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/july-31-...

Not denying that they fell, but that they are still falling.

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11732 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/28/2012 2:45 PM
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Tamhas,

it is hard to fathom whether individual incomes are rising...or the number of folks working has gone up which means the pay rolls are expanding......your links while believable enough are not all that clear to me at least....

Dave

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11733 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/28/2012 3:17 PM
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Fine. I think the main point is that nasty things have been going on, but are slowly now getting better. Beyond that, we don't need to argue out the details like one might on a certain other forum I can think of.

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Author: tamhas Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11736 of 19769
Subject: Re: FB Date: 9/28/2012 9:48 PM
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OK, admit it declined in August ... not known when I posted.

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