Facebook Redesign? Who cares, I just want the Stock

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May 29 2008
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Whenever the discussion about Google vs Facebook pops there’s always a group of people who would scream “Huh? Google and Facebook are of different business dude!” Of course I know that silly. Every Tom, Dick and his dog knew Google is in online search business while Facebook is in one of Web 2.x businesses – that’s social utility that connects people. Yeah, I know that Nokia had used the “Connecting People” slogan. There’re more than “same business sector” that qualify this fight between Google and Facebook.

For a start when top brains were scrambling to join Google’s payroll, Google employees on the other hand were jumping out from Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, stock) into Facebook. What on earth were these ex-employees thinking by joining a social-networking company? Forget about making money based on online advertising as social networking is second worst to chat rooms – CPM was ridiculously low as can be witnessed by the MySpace advertising trial. But if you were to travel 10-years back to 1999, Google’s business model was even worst. In fact Larry Page said there won’t be any content at all for Google – Huh?

FacebookMoving forward if Facebook is not a threat to Google why Google was so spooked by Facebook and would love to squash it? Of course when you compare the war-chest, Facebook is nowhere near Google’s hundreds of billions of dollars in market value and would probably remain so unless it has plans to go public. Losing talent to Facebook and missing out the party (social-networking) were enough to make the giant running mad, let alone to have Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT, stock) and Hong Kong richest man putting millions of dollars betting on Facebook.

And now Facebook is working on a redesign that will allow popular applications to become more accessible to users – Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday. Zuckerberg did not say what the redesign might look like, but indicated that Facebook might eventually have functions similar to “search”. It makes perfect business sense to go out of your square box once you’ve outgrown your own creation and who says Facebook cannot venture into search business? The fact is Facebook still hosts the lion’s share of Web applications created by developers and have no intention to switch side to Google’s OpenSocial platform. For example Facebook users have installed Watercooler’s applications about 17 million times.

Facebook is not in a hurry to recognize OpenSocial obviously. The conclusion, everyone is waiting for Facebook to go public. Heck, this could be the second chance in the lifetime to buy stocks with Google’s potential. Wondering what could be the stock-code for Facebook – FB, FBK, FCBK?

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