How Much Are Your Favorite Social Networks Worth?

Facebook: $33 Billion

In February, SecondShares, a group of four that provides analysis “on the companies driving the social media revolution,” released a report that argued Facebook, “the most powerful website the world has known,” will soon be worth more than $100 billion. Most people, though, seem to be arguing that the company, which has more than 500 million active users, is worth somewhere between $23 billion and $33 billion. Forbes recently estimated that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is worth $6.9 billion by figuring Facebook’s overall value to be $23 billion, but investors have paid up to $76 for a single share in the company, assuming it could be worth significantly more.

Twitter: $10 Billion

They haven’t really found a way to make money yet, but the founders of Twitter know how to build a product that nobody knew they wanted until it existed. The microblogging service, which forces its roughly 50 million users to craft messages in only 140 characters or less, is set to close a $100 million round of financing any minute now even though it’s still sitting on $30 million left after its last round. With investors as varied as Insight Ventures Partners and T. Rowe Price, Twitter has been valued at $1 billion, four times its valuation in February.

Zynga: $5 Billion

In April, SecondShares, a group of four that provides analysis “on the companies driving the social media revolution,” released a 4,000-word report that concluded Zynga is the clear leader in social gaming, a rapidly growing and highly profitable industry. They valued the company, best known for the addicting crop-growing game on Facebook and other platforms, FarmVille, at $5 billion, giving it room to grow. Only a couple of months prior to the release of SecondShares’ report, research firm Next Up valued the company at $3.3 billion.

LinkedIn: $2 Billion

With more than 70 million members, LinkedIn is often referred to as the Facebook for professionals looking to network. After raising more than $76 million in investor funding back in 2008, LinkedIn’s executives have said they don’t yet need to go through another capital-raising round. Tiger Global Management LLC, a hedge fund with investments in private technology companies, valued the company at $2 billion as recently as late July.

MySpace: $500 Million

Considered by some to be worth almost $65 billion back in 2007, MySpace is now probably worth less than the $580 million that media maven Rupert Murdoch paid for it. Murdoch wanted Yahoo to value the company, now used primarily by amateur bands for self-promotion, at $10 billion after he bought it. The company wouldn’t agree to it, no merger happened and MySpace has been rapidly declining ever since.

Groupon: $1.35 Billion

A venture that allows groups of people to commit to coupons so that they can all receive an exceptionally large discount that wouldn’t be possible were the offering company not guaranteed a bulk buy, Chicago-based Groupon was valued at $1.35 billion earlier this year when it raised $135 million in a fourth round of financing. But, as the the site is rapidly expanding and has received a lot of favorable press in the months since, it could be valued at even more today.

Foursquare: $95 Million

Foursquare is still new, but it’s adding more than 15,000 users every day. When the social location start-up raised $20 million in only its second round of funding back in late June, the company was valued at a healthy $95 million. Both Facebook and Yahoo showed an early interest and were in talks with the company’s executives about acquiring it prior to that funding round. The deals didn’t work out, but Facebook has since launched a similar service, Places.

Hunch: $52 Million

Started by Caterina Fake, the social media genius behind Flickr, Hunch is probably the least-known of the sites included on this list. Fake, though, has the Midas touch and her latest project, an algorithm-based site that attempts to tell you what you will like, was valued at $52 million after raising $12 million in a financing round this past March. Several big names believe in the future of Hunch: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Gideon Yu, one-time CFO of Facebook, both joined the company’s board of directors.

Skype: $2.5 Billion

With incredibly low rates, Skype has become the international online calling company of choice for millions of users. EBay valued the company at $2.75 billion when it sold it off last year, but the estimated value hasn’t gone up much since, with most people pricing it between $2 billion and $3 billion.


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