I think we all remember when we first signed up for facebook and realized how cool this tool really was. I remember distinctly during the spring quarter of my freshman year when it first came to Northwestern – right smack in the middle of midterms week…never a good thing. The curve was definitely significantly lower than usual than normal.
It’s scary how a company within a year and a half have turned themselves almost instantly into a verb. You only reach a level of Internet ubiquity after at least 3-4 years of retaining the top. Granted this is a terrible metric on whether a company is doing well – but in the social networking landscape – it’s not too bad. Everyone eBay’s, google’s or “diggs” something on the web. So who do we look-up when we want to checkout someones number/email?
You facebook or myspace someone.
These two sites have become the upper ends of social networking without a doubt. Myspace recently was named the most visited site on the web by Nielsen ratings beating out Yahoo. Facebook has 85% penetration among college students and has been expanding rapidly in the high school sector and employment sector. But the question that I think everyone has been asking when they launched and are still asking is the golden question to any business – “how are they going to make money?”
MySpace got acquired by News Corp – Rupert Murdoch’s company and Facebook is still a privately own company owned by Michael Zuckerberg. Interesting tidbit of information – apparently, Google had the opportunity to buy MySpace for 1/3rd of the price that News Corp bought it for. Thank god for that one.
The question to finally ask ourselves is how are they going to make money off of this – even facebook and myspace. Is it solely the advertising model that Google uses, or is there someway they can monetize social interactions?
The reason why this post is launched today is the creation of live space which is MSN’s new site. I had a chance to check it out and it definitely is pretty cool, but falls into the same scope as MySpace. Ultimately, if they begin to integrate live local into everything that they do – we can see somethings happen.
My theory is the way social networking will really become huge is to have unique webpage content which can be viewed by others. For instance – each person would uniquely have an active desktop sharing their photos, movies, videos, friends and webpage links – sponsored uniquely by certain sites (hence monetary) and can share files and all uniquely offline content…online. The key is to be active anywhere where personalized desktops are now on servers all across the internet.
so let me know…how do we make money off of something like social networking?
Just my $.02