A lot has been happening for Facebook’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. As the its rivalry with Google intensifies, he has purchased a handful of small start-up companies in the past year. Facebook has went public, he has been recently married, and recently acquired the photo-sharing service Instagram in a $1 billion deal. It’s these kind of major purchases that will turn Facebook into a true authority on the internet. With Facebook’s growing importance within search engines, and after Google’s Penguin update, services like boostlikes.com are making more and more sense to grow your Facebook presence.
Folks are placing bets on what Mark Z’s next move might be and what company might be next on the young entrepreneur’s shopping list .
In Ireland, Europe’s largest betting company Paddy Power is taking bets on a list of potential acquisitions. The short list comprises the familiar and the not-so-familiar new start-ups.
There is speculation both for and against Zuckerberg going after Foursquare. Those who are in the ‘against’ camp feel the time has passed for FourSquare.
Paddy Power’s argument is that Zuckerberg will likely acquire something that can be of use with Facebook, such as a music sharing and streaming company such as Spotify, Rara Music or Audioboo.
The argument for a possible acquisition of a microblogging and social networking site is that it would allow Zuckerberg to stick his fingers into the blogging ‘pie’. Blogging has become a mainstay of the Internet, and one of the few ‘pies’ Zuckerberg hasn’t taken a bite out of as of yet.
There are those who are indicating that Zuckerberg will branch out into other forms of social media applications, such as music and video websites, applications and software. Evernote, the app for note-taking, sharing and storing, is at a 9-to-2 vote that they will be acquired and somehow integrated into Facebook.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Paddy Power’s bets are at (5-to-1) that Facebook will try to acquire Dropbox.
Rival company Google acquired YouTube, so the likelihood that Zuckerberg would seek to purchase it from Google is very low – 40 to 1. Myspace is also a unlikely option as the popularity of the site has been on a steady decline for the past several years.
Other possibilities considered are digital music streaming service and an image-based social-sharing site, Pinterest. However, analyst Jonathan Yarmis states that this is a less likely possibility because Pinterest is still growing and has a much smaller user base, additionally there could be issues over intellectual property. According to Teresa Caro, vice president of social marketing at Engauge, the acquisition of Instagram is a sign that Facebook is changing direction.
Following on the heels of snapping up the location-based service Gowalla and the social-networking patents from Friendster Facebook is now aiming for a lot stronger mobile presence. Acquiring companies like Foursquare could be a step in this direction.
Some speculate Zuckerberg may stick with what he knows best, mainstream social media sites. They are suggesting that Mark may make offers on the micro-blogging platforms and social networking websites. However, the odds for sites such as Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, and Friends Reunited are all quite unfavorable. Paddy Power has odds of 40 – 1 on Friends Reunited as being the next acquisition for Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg stated after acquiring Instagram, “We don’t plan on doing many more of these (acquisitions), if any at all.” However, it is not uncommon for a company to say they will not be any other acquisitions simply to throw the rivals off the scent.
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