We spend a lot of time worrying about Facebook’s revenues and worth. But hold on a second.
Did you know that, according to Inside Facebook, the site adds 600,000 new members each day? In early December, active membership reached 130 million. As of December 16 it’s 140 million.
Earlier this week, we wrote that Facebook will likely take a down round and soon. A source familiar with Facebook investors doesn’t disagree. “Sure,” he said, “Everyone is down right now. Why would they take $200 million for 10% of the company?”
But that’s missing the larger point, said the source. He says that Facebook is still concentrating on growth and won’t really concern itself with revenues till next year. Then it’ll be able to “sell anything,” he said, “display ads, dating services, credit cards — water, even.” His money is on an off-network ad product built on the back of Facebook Connect.
People thought Facebook would do the same thing with Beacon last fall, and we all saw how that went. So we’ll believe in Facebook’s magical revenue product when we see it.
But here’s the bottom line. Worst case, Facebook disappoints investors by becoming a mediocre display business with revenues approaching a billion dollars a year. Best case, Facebook figures out a way to turn all that it knows about its users and how they interact with each other and the web into some kind of shazam-pow! ad product on the level of Google AdWords. And then, with all its crazy growth, Facebook will be suddenly worth way more than $15 billion.