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?
What does a typical night-in look like in in the ‘teenies’? X Factor on the TV? Youtube during the breaks on an iPad? A constant stream of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates in-between? There’s also email and texts to check, not to mention all those WhatsApp messages flying back and forth.
Ask a digital advertiser about the biggest challenges they see ahead and they’re likely to tell you it’s this type of ‘dual screening’. Or, more accurately, it’s the inability of advertising to follow consumers as they hop from one device to the next. But all that could be about to change…Yes, welcome to the Brave New World of Sequential Messaging!
For the uninitiated, sequential messaging is the ability for marketing communications to leap between screens – for a campaign to play out in a chronological succession that builds from an initial touch point on TV, then across Twitter and so forth, dependent on a consumer’s next point of interaction with digital media.
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.
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 this time every year, The Guardian publishes its Media 100 – a list of the most powerful people in the UK sector. At this time every year, our media executive search team spends 20 minutes in the office dissecting it, and some time texting those people we know with jokey messages about their brilliance or under-representation. And at this time every year, I write nothing about it.
There’s no point getting hot under the collar about the often seemingly arbitrary names that start to come in after place 20 on the list. The fact that there are 47 new entries on this year’s list illustrates the point: the media market is moving fast, of course; but not
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