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Taking Stock In Facebook May Virtually Have Nothing To Do With Facebook

Facebook's unprecedented recent $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp helped bolster the social networks' stock price 158% over the past year. In my recent blog post, "WhatsApp With Facebook's Stock?…" FB moved from $25 in February, 2013 to $70 one year later on February 26, 2014. However in acquiring the virtual reality software startup Oculus Rift this week for $2 billion, not all analysts agree that the stock market is pleased with the direction the 'acquisition-starved' company is taking.

Millennials Jumping Ship

Users are restless - particularly the Millennials - who are leaving the network in droves. Mashable's Taylor Casti compared the exodus to a "bad habit many are trying to kick." There's many reasons for these departures, but some suggest there's a sure-fire way to go from "cool" to ice-cold  -- namely, the knowledge -- your parents have access to almost everything you post.

Downtick?

In turn, losing market share is becoming troublesome for some Wall Street investors. A TechCrunch report viewed the drop of FB's stock price to $64.25 after the Oculis Rift acquisition as an indicator that the market's interest may be softening. This sentiment was given even more weight after CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that his company is not a "hardware company" and is intending on having Oculus operate independently from Facebook all together.

Is One Decade Enough?

Since Facebook has reached puberty at the ripe old age of 10, it's thought by many that's its outlived its 15 minutes of being the "shiny new thing." By scaling to over 1.2 billion users, the numbers game was bound to plateau -- and, as such -- simply can no longer add new members at the same rate.

Snapshat
, Instagram and some of the other newer and more hipper apps are flourishing solely within the mobile ecosystems where the population is beginning to share more its time. Silicon Valley's product developers who were known for building apps and games specifically for the native Facebook platform are now developing those that are competing against it.

Gaming the System

Page from graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks"Page from graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks"Facebook experienced early successes in its web gaming partnerships with Zynga and the lucrative 30% tax it levied over the last five years-- but it got locked out of the mobile gaming revenue by platform owners Apple (iOS) and Google (Android). With the latest acquisition of a virtual reality operation, it appears that FB does not want to lose in the VR space as well.

Reacting to this growing lack of interest, and in effort to assuage Wall Street, Zuckerberg noted a departure from Facebook's original mission statement. Instead of working within Facebook's platform, with these newer acquisitions he will actively build a portfolio of apps which will stand apart from Facebook proper.

"We just think that there are all these different ways that people want to share, and that compressing them all into a single blue app is not the right format of the future," Zuckerberg said.

He went on to say, "In other words, the future of Facebook may not rest entirely on Facebook itself."

Life Raft

So, it looks as if the 30-year old CEO has matured into understanding the metaphysical belief that nothing lasts forever. So as not to lose a foothold, and since he still maintains access to a massive user base, he can promote, advertise and sell to them any and all of his new acquisitions. In essence, the Network-that-Mark-Built becomes a viable launching pad - and before the USS Facebook sinks into a social media malaise, Z-Man is open to allowing his mighty band of followers to jump ship - as long as that new ship is one he's built as well. And don't be surprised if that new floating device is manned by a virtually futuristic captain.

 

 

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Ron Callari
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