Is Facebook a fad?
Not according to Michael Brush of MSN Money, who compares the social networking site to Walmart: It’s a giant, like Wal-Mart Stores. And as a one-stop shop that lets users easily build networks of friends to share news and photos, join groups and search for school and work buddies, it has the potential to bury MySpace, Classmates.com and other competitors the way Wal-Mart has busted local retailers. He posts these facts as evidence: Traffic. In December, 108 million people, or 30% of the world’s Internet population, visited Facebook, compared with 81 million who visited MySpace, according to Nielsen Media Research. Users. Facebook now reports more than 175 million active users, compared with 130 million for MySpace, its closest direct competitor. “Facebook is eating MySpace’s lunch,” says Bill Douglass, a social-media strategist with Brainerd Communicators. Value. Two years ago, based on the sale of 1.6% of its business to Microsoft, Facebook might have been worth $15 billion. That’s up there with household names like Nissan Motor, Halliburton, and Kellogg today. Some pundits posit that Facebook could surpass Google (!) for total worldwide unique visitors. (hat tip to Nell Handley, colleague @ Cross International)