“When Google+ gives Facebook a run for its money
“Facebook finally has a serious competitor. At least, that's what social-media investor Sergio Monsalve thinks.”
“Venture capitalists such as Monsalve see early signs that Google+, which has picked up more than 25 million users since launching in June, is headed down the right path.
Google Inc's infant social network, which counts Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a member, has met skepticism so far. Some are waiting to see if it can maintain the rapid momentum of its first months.
Others see reason to be optimistic. Monsalve, who has invested in various consumer-Internet start-ups, is among a group of VCs who see promise.
If Larry Page's brainchild -- which some say mimics better than Facebook the instinctive categorizing of friends that occurs in real life -- fulfills its early promise, it will come at a pivotal moment for its bigger rival.
Facebook is widely expected to go public as early as 2011, barring further market ructions. The emergence of a serious challenger -- when it now has none -- will almost certainly give some investors pause, maybe even hurt its valuation.
"It's much richer, much more interesting pieces of content" compared to what he typically sees on Facebook, says Monsalve, who invested in recently-acquired MyYearbook.com and worked closely with MySpace in its heyday when he headed marketing at Photobucket.
The stakes are high. Facebook should pull in advertising revenue of $4.05 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Rival research house ComScore says its U.S. users spend 434 minutes a month each on the site. It has 750 million users globally.
That makes each minute spent on Facebook today worth roughly about 10 cents, excluding revenue earned from peripheral sources such as third-party games or people buying Facebook credits.
And marketers are pouring more money into online advertising overall; eMarketer says Facebook's take should grow to $5.74 billion next year.
The question in the near future will be how much -- if at all -- Google+ cannibalizes time on Facebook. (..)”