Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I didn’t grow up with no computer and I didn’t have any chit-chatty sites to say hi to people on. Now people are meeting more people on their computers than in real fleshy life. One of the most remarkable sites is Facebook. We all saw it rise out of infancy.  We all saw the movie. We all watched the drama of its founders. When it got on the stock exchange at $35 a share we all laughed. What a rip off! Facebook doesn’t manufacture anything; how can they even put a worth to it?

Well, Facebook is now bigger than ever. Shares are soaring into record territory on investor confidence in the 11 year old’s company’s advertising business. They are predicting that Facebook’s revenue will rise 37% this year   to $17billion dollars.  Their price target is up to over $91 dollars.  This week the stock closed at a record $85 dollars a share. Boy were we wrong.

This social-networking giant is poised to take on a large slice of an ever-expanding   mobile advertising market in the United States, which is expected to rise 50% to $28 billion this year according to researcher eMarketer.   They are better positioned ever to sell digital ads and compete with Google, says chief strategist Craig   Palli at Fiksu, a mobile-marketing company that works with Facebook. “They’ve gone from a social network to a comprehensive ad-teck   platform ”with Newsfeed, Instagram, , WhatsApp and eventually, Oculus.  I have gotten used to being hit with something new on a regular basis.  These places seem to make money instantly. What exactly do they manufacture? I have to stop asking that question and just go with the flow I guess.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been busy spending profits and has gone on a shopping spree.  The company has gone on an acquisition spree spending nearly $25 billion dollars this past three years on mobile-messaging servicing WhatsApp ($21.8 billion), virtual-reality startup Oculus($2 billion), and photo-sharing  app maker Instagram ($1 billion) . These additions to the company has transformed the social network into a multi platform, social-media powerhouse.

Now Facebook seems to have become multiple apps and businesses across mobile, ad tech and virtual reality. It is so much more now. Mr. Zuckerberg should explain to us how the hell all this is going to connect together? To add to all this, last week Facebook that now had 1.3 billion members added a feature to its popular Messenger app that lets people send money to friends.  The feature is free, but analysts see potential for money making down the road. Sure, once we all get hooked on that, they will probably add on fees. Who knows.

All I know is that I had the phone in the kitchen with the long spiral wire to talk to people. It was a simpler time.

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