Video: The Future of Facebook, an Interview on Bloomberg TV

Left: To watch this 5 minute video, click on image, then click on “Video” tab then the “Watch” icon.

This week, Facebook raised $200 million injection of capital from a relatively unknown Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which has a few related properties. This investment is an exchange for preferred stock, representing a 1.96 percent equity stake at a $10 billion valuation, according to a Facebook press release.

I often get asked how Facebook could monetize, my take is that they are first focused on global growth they have aprox 200 million registered users (keep in mind that’s not the same as active) and need to perhaps double that amount to reach the population of larger websites (stats here).

I went to the SF Bloomberg TV studios for a live 5:45am pacific broadcast to accommodate the east coast market, to discuss my take, which you can watch. To watch the video, click to this page (or on the image above), then go to “Video” tab then the “Watch” icon.

Although I’ve been on many video podcast, this was my first interview on life TV, and as you can tell, I’m a bit awkward and very nervous. Being in a TV studio is so different than doing an in person interview as there’s no one in the room, I can hear the anchor via a small earpiece, there’s a very slight delay, I can’t read her body language, I didn’t know what she looked like till I saw the replay at home, and the only thing I can see is a little red dot engulfed by bright white lights. To overcome my nervousness, I wrote down my talking points the night before and rehearsed many times, a few awkward sentence here and there, but hey, it was a good experience, and I hope to do it again.

Back to the topic: Facebook’s future. I’d love to hear from you, what do you think they’ll do with this new funding, and how do you think Facebook will ultimately monetize?

9 Replies to “Video: The Future of Facebook, an Interview on Bloomberg TV”

  1. Like me, you’re too hard on yoruself. I was thinking how impressive it was that you made so much sense so early in the morning. Good work and good luck with future interviews.

  2. The DST investment does not seem like another injection of venture capital purely for the purposes of operation finance. Facebook has been treading water for some time, seemingly waiting to establish where it will start to make money.

    All the investments to date are based on one stat, 270 million daily visitors. It figures that when this many people gather in one place then there is some money to be made somewhere – but no-one really knows how just yet. Recently they have said that they will be profitable in 2010, co-inciding with the DST cash.

    The USD 200 mil served two purposes from what I can gather, buying aprox 100 mil in shares so existing stockholders can get some cash return without going public and to develop specific objectives. These include development of Chinese and Indian markets and technological developments such as video chat.

    DST are bringing more to the board than just the cash investment. They have on their company portfolio a number of Russian language social media platforms, including the largest free-email service []and Forticom, who deal with a number of social network sites including most popular in Russia and Poland – all of which are profitable.

    DST were chosen over a number of other potential investors which might mean that they will be applying a similar structure to Facebook. I think this is a combination of standard membership free with optional premium membership upgrade and advertising, however I have not had a chance to verify this – any info on this would be great.

    The key is not disrupting the user experience as this was a contributing factor in the migration from Myspace.

    In short: if they can make the transition to profitability by offering new services users want [like video chat] as opposed to charging for services they already receive, whilst making the site more conducive with ads, they might acheive their goal without sustaining too much damage to the only thing that people are investing in – the daily user stat.

    However, this is all easier said than done…

  3. Nice one Jeremiah. Interested in your thoughts on what the impact would be if Facebook announced they were charging $5 per month?

    People have invested a serious amount of time and effort in their accounts and may start to see it as a service they would pay for…if it meant no more advertising. They would certainly lose tens of millions of users who would not be prepared to pay, but even if they lost half their 200 million user base then that would still be $500m in subscriptions per year.

    I think Facebook is awesome but the awesomeness could be far greater if they were 100% user focussed rather than advertiser driven. I am sure they could then come up with functionality worth $20 per month.


    The unaired dark side of Facebook, or should I call it Disgracebook because of the extremely poor disgraceful way Facebook treats its members. The reason I say the unaired dark side of Facebook is I have yet to see anything announced on the prime time major news outlets about the disgraceful practices Facebook uses on its members. The Internet is bursting at its seems with unhappy disabled Facebook members who have posted thousands of complaints everywhere it is possible to post complaints about Facebooks complete lack of customer service and mean spirited disregard for concerns, questions and feedback from members and former members.

    If anyone thinks Facebook is listening to its members or advertisers or anyone wanting to communicate with them, they simply DO NOT know what they are talking about! Facebook ruthlessly, rigorously, relentlessly, and remorselessly walks all over its members with hob nailed boot polices of culling members from membership for unspecified unknown reasons and then accuses the permanently disabled unacceptable members as possibly being guilty of spamming or possibly being guilty of harassing other members because of asking too many members to be friends at an unspecified rate. Facebook goes on to permanently disable unacceptable members accounts that have too many friends, belongs to too many groups, pokes too many unknown times, sends too many email messages and on and on and on. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, says that Facebook members seem to take a personal ownership of their Facebook accounts. Well, golly gee Mark, Facebook is supposedly a SOCIAL Internet program that people join to meet and make new friends. Making new friends, at least to me, is personal and publishing real photographs and genuine personal information on Facebook seems personal to me. Maybe you should say in your rules and regulations that Facebook wants members to be real and genuine but do not join Facebook for personal reasons and do not expect to be treated in a true genuine caring manner because Facebook does not care in the least about what you think or how you feel. When Facebook says you are guilty of breaking polices you will be treated with complete lack of respect in an impersonal sterile manner and declared unacceptable and permanently banned from Facebook without recourse.
    On Mark Zuckerberg™s Facebook Fan Page Mark states I™m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share. I am glad Mark says he is trying etc. because, in my opinion, he certainly has NOT accomplished his mission. Facebook is one of the most closed undemocratic uncaring unsocial business operations since the formation of the Gestapo. Facebook operates carte blanche without regard of a due process of rights for members Facebook deems unacceptable to be a member of its supposed Internet social network service and therefore, disables their account without warning. Facebook justifies its policy and actions under the euphemism of protecting members from repeated actions that COULD BE CONSTRUED as spam, and from anything Facebook makes up to be a threat to its security. Although Facebook publishes what it SAYS are its rules and regulations, Facebooks security is a computer program of unpublished nonspecific rules and regulations that are enforced by an automated, autocratic, uncaring broadly defined bureaucratic computer program that members violate without knowing it and then booted out of Facebook. If this is not Gestapo like policy, I guess I do not know what it is because it certainly is un-American to say the least!

    Furthermore, in my opinion, Facebook is NOT a Internet social network service. When joining Facebook you are, in reality, joining an Internet money making computer advertising program that is set up to look like a Internet social network service for the public. In essence, the Internet social network service is a screen or cover for a computerized advertising empire designed with one thing in mind, the bottom line profits for Facebook investors. I am all for investors making a profit and if the investors will wake up they can increase their profits by paying attention to the consumer members of Facebook. As it stands now, the consumer is NOT king on Facebook. Facebook can at any time without having to explain its decision declare any member persona non grata. Is it any wonder Facebook members are treated with total disregard for being feeling thinking real people? I have yet to know of a computer program that is able to feel and or to reason. When placing a phone call to Facebook you are treated rudely and crassly informed to use their computerized automated services, which do not reply when used or quickly transferred to an automated answering service to which there is no reply.

    Why a business would choose to advertise on Disgracebook is beyond my ability to understand sound business practices? I know that I will not purchase any goods or services advertised on Disgracebook and I urge anyone mauled by Disgracebooks insensitivity to boycott anything advertised by this disgraceful, despicable, sorry company!

    If Disgracebook is treating its foreign members as poorly as it treats its domestic members Disgracebook is not only giving itself a black eye it is giving the United States of America a black eye. Is there anyone out there who cares enough and can communicate with Facebook to help Facebook become a user friendly Internet social network service it claims to be?

    I strongly urge anyone interested to please research what I am informing you of because I assure you the situation I have explained is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Until the media and or business community and elected officials takes notice of and makes public Disgracebooks dark side inhuman treatment of people Mark Zuckerberg and his staff and money making computer program will continue to execute its falsely accused unacceptable members and fill up trenches behind Disgracebooks California headquarters with their discarded accounts.

  5. I often get asked how Facebook could monetize, my take is that they are first focused on global growth they have aprox 200 million registered users (keep in mind that™s not the same as active) and need to perhaps double that amount to reach the population of larger websites

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