Facebook Could Kill the Web

Michael Wolff points out that, in the end, Facebook is just an ad-driven site
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2012 1:54 PM CDT
Facebook Could Kill the Web
People walk past a sign welcoming Facebook at the NASDAQ stock exchange on Times Square in New York, on May 18, 2012.   (Getty Images)

"Facebook is not only on course to go bust, but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it." That's the bold statement Michael Wolff makes in the MIT Technology Review today, and he insists he's not exaggerating. In the end, Facebook is just another website selling ads, he explains, and online ad rates are constantly falling. "I don't know anyone in the ad-Web business who isn't engaged in a relentless, demoralizing, no-exit operation to realign costs with falling per-user revenues."

Yeah, yeah, Facebook is supposed to be different. It has "in some yet-to-be-defined way, redefined something. Relationships? Media? … Something big, anyway." But so far it hasn't found the Google-esque big idea that will put it at the heart of global e-commerce. It's just selling ads, and to meet expectations, it "has to sell at near hyperspeed." Given its nearly infinite inventory, this desperate gambit will glut "an already glutted market," driving down costs for the entire ad-driven web. "The crash will come. And Facebook ... will fall with everybody else." (More Michael Wolff stories.)

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