Facebook: The Rise and Possible Fall

MarkZuckerberg (born May 14, 1984) is the founder of Facebook.comÃ?©. Facebook is website that contains profiles of millions of youngsters across the nation. Known for is ability to connect distant friends and long lost acquaintances, Facebook has become a huge favorite among college students and people in their early 20’s.

Before Zuckerberg created Facebook, he was programming many other of his own projects. He started off programming at the age of 11, and by the time he was in high school he was an avid computer aficionado. In his final year of high school he created an artificially intelligent MP3 player that predicted what song the MP3 player’s owner would want to listen to next. It was featured in several publications and would have probably been a huge success, but for whatever reason Zuckerberg was not interested in selling the rights to the device.

When Zuckerberg entered Harvard, he was a part of the class of 2006. He constructed several school websites and programs that were mainly for entertainment purposes. However, many of his programs were in violation of Harvard networking policy, and even tapped into confidential Harvard databases. That got him into some administrative trouble.

While in his sophomore year, Zuckerberg brought together some friends and built an online social directory for Harvard students. It did not take long for the majority of the campus to register, and so he and his friends began to enlist other Ivy League schools and elite universities. The widespread popularity of the site was very surprising, and online phenomenon, Facebook, was beginning to take-off. He left school to begin running the website full-time, and because of the high trafficking, Facebook was an advertiser’s feeding ground for promotions centered around college students. Facebook was consumer success and a cash cow.

The rise of Facebook made it a huge target for those interested in buying the website for its potential advertising possibilities. Even in the earlier stages of 2004, Facebook has been offered bids for its rights. It is reported that earlier in 2006, Zuckerberg was offered $750 million, but Zuckerberg rejected the offer and countered with a $2 billion request. However, this move was probably not the best move. Myspace.com, a similar social directory sold for just under $600 million, and it is said that the online social directory industry is on the decline.

Because the future looks austere if Zuckerberg really plans on having Facebook bought out for $2 billion, Zuckerberg has been making drastic changes to his website. Just this month, Zuckerberg added a mini-feed feature that allows users to see a record of their “friends” activities on Facebook. Many Facebook users revolted and have since either complained or have used Facebook’s own forums to reach out to one another in protest. The revolt stems from the fact that users that have joined Facebook mainly like it because of the exclusivity. For a time, only people of enrolled in college could use Facebook, and you could only see profiles of people at your own school. However, a lot has changed and now it is much more open, and people are beginning to dislike the access that users and even non-users have to profiles on Facebook.

Despite the uproar that Facebook receives as it opens up more and more, Zuckerberg will continue to do so, because despite his user’s want for exclusivity, the Facebook population continues to grow. It is reportedly has 9 million registered users and 6 billion page views per month. Because of the continued “acceptance through force” of his ideas, he is reportedly going to rid of all exclusivity on Facebook and open it up to regional participants; thereby eliminating the need to belong to a university, school, or business. This move will drastically upset its users, and it is seen as a move of desperation by Zuckerberg, who is in need of building the sites number of users to reach his goal of selling Facebook at a very high price. He has even posted a letter seeking approval from users for his expansion of facebook to the public. The reviews thus far are not too positive.

While Zuckerberg has closed several multi-million dollar advertising agreements with companies as large as Microsoft, it is looking grim that he will ever sell Facebook at his price of $2 billion. With Myspace.com going for the price that it did and at the time that it did, business analysts do not believe that the online social directory industry will sustain enough appeal and profit to attract such a huge offer, nor even an offer much bigger than what Myspace.com received. In fact, analysts think it is unlikely that Facebook can even be sold for more than what Myspace.com received because Zuckerberg has lost negotiating power due to the social directory price-tag that his been set by the buy-out of Mysapce.com, not to mention that Facebook has only 9 million users versus Myspace’s 80 million. Thus, the future does not look bright for Zuckerberg on the end road, but his multi-million dollar deal with Microsoft will serve as a fortunate constellation.

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