Coming out of the Bannatyne’s Gym this evening a news piece on Sky News caught my eye about social networks. It was the news indeed (published on Facebook yesterday) that they were cash flow positive: “Earlier this year, we said we expected to be cash flow positive sometime in 2010, and I’m pleased to share that we achieved this milestone last quarter. This is important to us because it sets Facebook up to be a strong independent service for the long term.”
No doubt plenty of wise folk will say this is a good sign but maybe Facebook are the exception in a recession?
I’d probably agree except that I’ve noticed some other encouraging signs, both at the very large (Facebook) end of the business spectrum and the not so large, in comparison, from the UK. For starters the news on 2 September that European social software specialists Headshift, had been bought by the Dachis Group based in Austin, Texas, in a move described by the Guardian as the ‘Facebookification of business’: “The London-based social media firm Headshift is the first acquisition of Jeffrey Dachis’s newly formed Dachis Group. Dachis’s former agency, Razorfish, was a huge success with a value of $5.5 billion at the height of the 2000 bubble. With his new company, the entrepreneur plans to invest in the corporate social networking area and will focus on making customer participation a big business: “Social business is the new way of working, not just new technology.”
Thirdly, that London-based social media agency FreshNetworks, doubled in size in 2008, are doubling in size again this year and moving to new offices, by all accounts.
So perhaps a trend? Prediction is, as I think they say, an uncertain science, but with online community specialist company SiftGroups in Bristol, who I work for, also moving into new offices things look brighter for sure. For me personally I have one further indicator, which is my own private confirmation of this upward trend, and for sure there remains the lack of cash for investment in the system at large. But finger’s crossed that while ‘one swallow does not make a summer’ that enough swallows can make something happen. Chaos theory anyone?
Photo by Cherry On Fire
PS: And even as I sit here watching French Wednesday evening football at 21:02 news rolls in from TechCrunch: “Twitter Closing New Venture Round With $1 Billion Valuation”.