That’s the question that Robert Young asks over at GigaOM today. Facebook apparently turned down many potential suitors last year, deciding to go it alone. Was that a good decision or a bad one? Robert does a good job of explaining that if you ignore the financial side of things, it looks like it was a good decision:
So given such positives, one might conclude that Facebook did in fact make the right decision not to sell. as momentum and value creation certainly seems to be in their favor.
Overall traffic is up, loyalty and usage stats are high, things look good. The problem is that advertising on Facebook appears to be a win-lose situation – good for Facebook, bad for the advertisers. Which means Facebook is going to have trouble earning revenue.
My personal opinion is that Facebook missed the boat, but that they’ll likely get another shot. The product has incredible value – they are just doing a really shoddy job of extracting it. It’s only a matter of time before they need to be rescued, by Yahoo! or another big player. Whether the rescuer will fare better at extracting value from Facebook is another story.
I’d be quite happy if Yahoo! purchased Facebook, and added support for del.icio.us and Flickr. I don’t upload photos to Facebook because I use Flickr, and I don’t use the share feature at Facebook, because I use del.icio.us. I’d still like to be able to share this stuff with my friends though.
(Another thing: all three products – del.icio.us, Facebook, and Flickr – have a clean and efficient design. That alone should be reason enough to make them play nicely together!)