Buying Facebook Stock and the start of the Registered User bubble

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Facebook, Twitter, and the Web Stock Bubble

Fine, assume that revenues in our fictional company double every year. Ah, yes, the greater fool method of investing. And the road will end. I post to Facebook pretty regularly. And I love, love, love Pandora.

Facebook buys Instagram: inflating the new tech bubble?

I listen to it nearly every single day over my 3G connection on my iPad. The company reported that it had over 80 million users in the U. There are only million people in this country between the ages of 15 and Would they have us believe that half of all people who would even conceivably use Pandora actually do so? I sincerely doubt it. Who is subscribing to ad-free Pandora?

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Who cares if there are ads on it? But that company is like a pure distillation of advertising in the 21st century. India is the latest to be added to that list and, based on current developments, more whistleblowers are expected to come out.

So what does this mean for Facebook and, by extension, the social media industry? Most investors will be asking themselves this question going into the second quarter of the year. Facebook has regained some of the losses it incurred over the last two weeks, following a small rebound in the last two trading sessions. This week, Twitter Inc.

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So did some Twitter investors perceive a potential scandal like the one Facebook is dealing with? As with Twitter and unlike Facebook , there's an asymmetry in the network: Smartphones are the future of computing. Gartner reckons that by next year, smartphones will overtake PCs as the most common device for accessing the web, at about 1. The second element, which is tied to the first, is the rising importance of the "social" element of our use of computers and products.

At Twitter, the idea is baked into its mission statement, devised by chief executive Dick Costolo: Phones are inherently social: Social networks such as Twitter and, of course, Facebook , are like nothing we've seen before.

Facebook, Twitter, and the Web 2.0 Stock Bubble

There have been many efforts to make the idea stick Yahoo had a go with Flickr and the Delicious bookmarking site but those have been desktop-based. Facebook rules the social world right now; but that might be a tenuous hold, and Mark Zuckerberg knows it.

The risk for Facebook is that it was born on the desktop, but to take advantage of the coming world it has to shift over to mobile — a fact that its flotation prospectus admits ; it barely makes any money from mobile, despite having huge numbers of people who only access it that way. Pulling in Instagram is a way for Facebook to pull itself into the social future that's developing around us. It's quite likely that it hasn't gained a single extra user; but they'll all be more tightly tied to the biggest network.

There are fears that Facebook's troubles will spread to the rest of the industry

As Zuckerberg put it on his own page, writing about the purchase: We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. They can make sure no one steps in their way and buy anyone who gets in their way," said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who follows social media.

Buying Instagram, he added, not only eliminates a rival but gives Facebook the technology "that is gaining crazy traction". There's another rival that this acquisition shuts out: It was also born on the desktop, and has been fighting to make the mobile phone its domain — something it has largely succeeded with through its Android software, which now runs about half of the smartphones sold worldwide. But social remains just slightly beyond its grasp.