Although I’ve been tweeting since 2007 — and on my current feed since 2009, when Twitter really started to catch fire — I still find it hard to believe that Twitter is worth $8 billion to $10 billion. Yes, I get most of my news from tweeted links, but the medium itself often strikes me as a roomful of AD(H)D kids all talking at the same time. (I can write this with absolute authority.) So when business folks start talking about Twitter in terms of BILLIONS of dollars, I lend a skeptical ear. However, the WSJ story has a quote from Ethan Kurzweil of Bessemer Venture that clarifies for me Twitter’s importance to advertising and marketing. From the story:
“Are these prices justifiable based on financial multiples? No.” But these start-ups are building social services and have lots of data about their users and “the market is valuing that mightily right now.”
As “The Conversation” — as it was called in a class I had on social media — spins on fast and furious, Twitter and Facebook make it easy to forget the almighty user data they’re collecting — and maybe selling. Also on WSJ.com today is a story about a data broker who has been paying application developers for Facebook users’ information. WSJ reports Facebook made the announcement Friday and has suspended some of the developers for six months. The data broker buying the user information was not identified by Facebook.