How much is Facebook worth? Recent estimates by the corporation places its valuation at sixty billion dollars. That’s at least six times the valuations Twitter is seeing, at $8-10 billion. That might seem like a lot for a company that couldn’t even generate six figures of profit last year and still isn’t entirely sure how to truly generate money. Not that such facts have stopped the company from estimating they’ll come to be worth $100 billion, more than Facebook’s current valuation and roughly half of Google’s almost, at the time of this writing, $200 billion market cap. If these figures sound astronomical for such young and fledgling companies, then it must be remembered that these estimates are based off of speculative future value.
But for all the “Twitter revolutions,” what does Twitter have to offer that is worth $100 billion? Twitter may be popular, but popularity is not directly analogous to profit. Owner of the infamous 4chan, Christopher “moot” Poole, was just two years ago $20,000 in debt and living with his mother despite having one of the most popular forums and websites in the world, often considered the nexus of Internet counterculture. So if popularity, an audience and cultural relevance don’t mandate success, should Twitter be given a pass just for being a popular site for users to blog about events as they happen? Facebook at least has a goldmine of data to mine, but Twitter mostly has hype. While there is excitement around potentially investing early in the next Google, there is a comparative lack of caution about investing early in the next Pets.com. Twitter and other rising stars of Silicon Valley may ultimately prove financially successful, but until they actually produce such substantial cash as their valuations would suggest they are capable of, proclaiming them the second coming of the media world could prove premature.