The New York Times has an interesting article on the business side of facebook. While I am compulsively checking people’s statuses, noting who is and isn’t dating who, oogling hot drunk chicks photos, and deeply contemplating where I should add that new badass app, people are making money. Lots of it.
The originally small scale networking site for Harvard students is expected to reach 60 million member by the end of this year. But you ask how could a free site be worth any money? While there are small features that cost money the more serious cash flow is advertising and corporate sponsorship. While the founder wants to keep it independent and is as such unlikely to sell it completely Microsoft recently bought a share in it. Microsoft shelled out something like 240 million dollars for less than 2 % share. Yeah Facebook is worth approximately 15 billion dollars.
The article goes into the future possibilities for the company, the inevitable google comparisons, and how they think facebook can benefit and be hurt by the microsoft purchase.