Impact: Facebook became the “it” social networking site of 2007; even as MySpace retained its dominance, Facebook stole away much of the buzz.
And these days, the 23-year-old Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, is getting pitched his fair share of big deals.Viacom and Yahoo!, for example, made lucrative offers to purchase Facebook outright — in fact, before ankling the latter, Terry Semel offered $1 billion, a query Zuckerberg rejected.
In October, however, Microsoft managed to take a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240 million. Under the agreement, Microsoft will sell ads on Facebook through 2011. That pact led many to gasp at the perceived value of Zuckerberg’s site: $15 billion.
Nearly 60 million people now regularly use Facebook, and Zuckerberg predicts the site could have as many as 200 million users by the end of 2008.
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Recently, attempts to monetize this traffice have been fraught with hang-ups. In November, Facebook faced its first significant crises with Beacon, a feature that automatically — and excessively, some Facebook denizens felt — shares user information. Showing the moxie of a seasoned media exec, however, Zuckerberg faced the PR crunch head-on via his company blog.
POV: “Facebook has succeeded so far in part because it gives people control over what and how they share information,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This is what makes Facebook a good utility, and in order to be a good feature, Beacon also needs to do the same.”