There are many reasons why I believe that Facebook will be worth over $10bn, maybe as much as $20bn but I will focus on one, its open immigration policy. Joanna Rees (CEO of FON USA) and I went to see the folks at Facebook in order to make a deal on how Fon could appear in Facebook. The visit was amazing in the sense that we basically learned that we could do whatever we wanted at Facebook. All our ideas were greeted with a yes, yes and yes.

Basically, the Facebook system resembles a country with open immigration in which the best are allowed to thrive, kind of like USA who manages to attract the best of the best…and thrives. But of course you have to live by certain rules like for example disclosing who you are, a rule that we also have at Fon and that while potentially hackable Facebook told us that they frequently delete accounts of people they believe are not disclosing their true identity. Interestingly Second Life has the opposite principle, namely that people would like to live in an imaginary world of second identities, and some do, but most like to have a real relationship with real friends.

To me there´s no doubt that Facebook will be hugely popular and will overtake Myspace sometime during 2008 and become the largest social network in the world. The only lingering doubts center around monetization but with Google nearby and with the famous Myspace Google deal as a starting point I see that selling ads to people who disclose their identity and so much about themselves will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

Sebastian on June 24, 2007  · 

I love your visionary posts! Keep on going.

I´ve written about in our german dotcom magazine:
http://www.internetszene.de/artikel_2788_6.html

Greetings from Berlin

Sebastian

andy werner on June 26, 2007  · 

I see were you’re going, but it also seems to me that this type of social network still has a ways to go before it can really be valued that high (what’s the PE of a $20b market cap for Facebook?).

The open platform a-la-MSFT is very interesting indeed, and a brilliant step in the right direction, however it would have to be very near ubiquitous in order to be worth that much.

Never mind the possibility of a game changing technology in the next 2-3 years.

Anyway, that’s just me being the devil’s advocate, I would definitely consider FB the cream of the crop (though I still find LinkedIn more practical).

Cheers

Daniel on June 26, 2007  · 

There is a interesting post about facebook and myspace on boingboing. In shot it states, that the upper class joins facebook, while the rest goes to myspace. No idea if one of the this two sites can overcome the other, but it’s interesting to read. http://www.boingboing.net/2007/06/24/myspace_facebook_mir.html

Tobi on June 27, 2007  · 

But of course you have to live by certain rules like for example disclosing who you are, a rule that we also have at Fon

Is that the reason you allow for anonymous test accounts at Fon?

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