Social media and money

There’s more going on in the world of social media than getting your Groupon and playing Farmville. It’s all about the IPO, baby – at least for Groupon and Facebook, if the rumors are true. I think it’s fascinating that news about taking Groupon and Facebook public have surfaced in the same week. (Yes, that Financial Times subscription is coming in handy!)

Social media changes and evolves at warp speed, but the last few months have been breathtaking. There was the rumored takeover of Chicago-based Groupon by Google – and the even more stunning news that Groupon had declined Google’s offer.

Both Groupon and Facebook seem to have their heads in the game for the long haul, and making the companies public appear to be a big part of those plans. It also speaks to how healthy both companies are financially. (Both are, according to the companies themselves, making a profit.)

Contrast that with Twitter, another popular site, which (according to a recent FT profile of Biz Stone) is still losing money.

And an even bigger contrast exists with MySpace, once considered a competitor of Facebook. MySpace seems to be in the midst of an AOL-style implosion, as their user base has disappeared in alarming numbers. Last week, MySpace announced layoffs of 50% of its staff.

We’ve all seen tech bubbles before (hello, Pets.com!) but these two companies, at least, seem to be building on firmer ground.

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