Archive for the ‘What in the World is Going On with Facebook?’ Category

What in the World is Going On with Facebook?

November 21, 2008

Check out my story on Facebook, called “Facebook’s Land Grab in the Face of a Downturn.” It’s about the startup’s audacious gamble to chase user growth in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

In the story, I report several scoops:
– To grow its user base, the company has lowered its revenue goals. In January, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook was shooting for revenues of $300 million to $350 million this year. But this spring, Zuckerberg and his board lowered the revenue target to $250 million to $300 million, say sources familiar with company finances.
– Despite intense speculation, the company is not running out of money. It has raised about $500 million and is “slightly cash-flow negative,” says Facebook director and investor Peter Thiel. At its current burn rate, he says, the company has enough cash for three or four years.
– The company is gearing up to do acquisitions, particularly of overseas foreign networks.
– The company is seriously considering a plan to take a cut of money from the software developers who create applications for the site. Vice-President Chamath Palihapitiya, disclosing the initiative for the first time, says the company may be able to help these startups generate more cash from advertising or e-commerce and then take a slice of that revenue.