The polar opposite is something like HN or Reddit, which is all casual contact with random people, albeit those who are likely to share our interests. This allows for often more fulfilling discussion than what our immediate circle of friends can provide. It's why we're here rather than on FB or G+ right now. We humans have always liked marketplaces and pubs in addition to private venues.
Surprised to see zero mention of "credits" in the article.
Credits was $557-million in 2011 and expected to grow 4x this year.
That alone isn't going to justify the valuation, but still odd to leave out of the discussion.
ref - http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/22/40-billion-facebook-credits...
Any potential new service could provide a more effective platform for ads.
"So far, Facebook has defaulted to the laziest of all revenue models:
ads. It is clear that Google is the king of ads,
and this is because intention beats behavior."
You don't buy a can of coke online. But coke definitely want to advertise online and be able to target very specific crowd based on an FB profile.
Of course, this is all just conjecture at this point.
It's not going to happen. There is little to no value in being the front page of the Internet. People are very good at ignoring the screen when they're typing their search query in the address bar.
I look forward to seeing the next full quarterly results that include the new Google Drive & additional storage plans. It was such a big price increase from the old plans I would think there will be an impact even if sign up #s of paid plans were low.
More likely, the distinction between content and advertisement will erode until you can't tell the difference anymore, e.g., product placement.