Facebook announced last week that it will acquire the instant messaging provider WhatsApp in a deal worth an eye-watering $19bn (£11.4bn).
The social network already has its own mobile chat platform, but its traction has not nearly been as strong as other standalone chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat. The astronomical price paid for WhatsApp reflects how keen Facebook is to get hold of a lithe, mobile technology.
So what exactly does Facebook get for its money?
Libor, PPI, and high-profile stories about boardroom incompetence have done little to end the public beating dished out to the finance industry during the economic crisis. If that wasn’t bad enough, the sector’s pedestrian approach to content marketing seems to have done little to help win back old sympathies or convince new customers of its trustworthiness or expertise.
In part, the problem is one of justified anxiety. Perfectly reasonable fears about breaching regulations and falling foul of one penalty or another have fed a culture of risk-averse marketing in the financial sector. Consequently, everything has a beige hue and fails to light the imagination.
With its traditional conservatism and complex regulations, the financial services industry doesn’t immediately strike you as a sector ready to embrace the brave new world of content marketing, but scratch the surface and what emerges is a set of compelling reasons why it should.
Unlike consumer disposables, buying a mortgage or a pension product is a significant purchase. When faced with such a big decision, potential customers tread carefully and have important questions. Digital technology has enabled them to seek out answers like never before, meaning firms that can engage individuals with high-quality content have the potential to build lasting relationships. But how do they go about doing that?
As the massively under-priced IPO of Royal Mail showed last month, pricing of shares in newly floated businesses is an enormously difficult business.
So it is easy to agree with Tomas Freyman of BDO that tomorrow’s flotation of Twitter is priced at what looks like “bubble territory”. It is, after all, a loss making company whose flotation values it at $17bn, according to the Evening Standard – more than 20 times current revenues. Freyman, having “looked under the bonnet” of the company, feels the company has a maximum valuation of $10bn – and even then only if it made significant strides in its business model.
BusinessWeek offers an equally damning verdict: compared with its 2012 revenues, the valuation is an astonishing 43 times revenues, it claims, and the $25 a share represents a P/E ratio of -171.
But the discrepancy between these two figures indicates
At the time of writing Facebook’s value is down 11% with shares valued at $34, having peaked at $42 on Friday several hours after the start of trading.
Many have questioned where the value in the brand lies – it clearly is not in its existing revenues – it “only” made
This article first appeared in Press Gazette
There was a minor palaver a couple of months ago when Datasift acquired the rights to search the last two years of Twitter feeds to serve its clients’ market research purposes. It was widely reported as a threat to privacy – equated with Google’s autoscanning of your Gmail account to target advertising.
Of course, there is no comparison. Twitter is, by its nature, a public platform. Facebook is – for most of its users – also public. So what has this got to do with a column on careers?
Ask Octavia Nasr. In 2009 she was dismissed from CNN for a tweet which
The explosion of Pinterest is something we hear about on a daily basis. The fact that it’s biggest group user group is 18-34 year-old, upper-income women who are interested in subjects such as fashion and interior design is of great interest to fashion e-commerce players. The site appeals to the human desire to collect things and
I wrote a marketing letter today. Not surprising, I grant you. Except that I mentioned – without irony – that non-media brands require “media skills” to create trust. Given the current crises in the media sector, this may have seemed chutzpah of the highest order.
The Leveson enquiry, and all that it encompasses, shows that (in the UK, at least) trust in traditional media is collapsing. The newspaper watchdog, the PCC, has failed. The industry has been accused