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TheStreet Open House

Google Could 'MySpace' Facebook

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Angry emails continue to pour in from readers who wish to voice their "dislike" in reference to my recent bearish articles on Facebook (FB) which is due to commence trading for the first time on Friday with an estimated price range of $34 to $38 as part of its highly anticipated IPO.

Facebook estimates that it will generate approximately $6.4 billion from its offering -- essentially reaching a market cap as high $110 billion. As remarkable as this accomplishment may be, it looks grossly perverse when one considers that upon its IPO it will immediately surpass the value of technology bellwethers in Cisco (CSCO) and Amazon (AMZN) -- two companies with proven effective businesses that generate plenty of money.

What has Facebook proven other than the fact that it is "liked" by a lot of people? Though this might sound a bit negative, please understand, I'm extremely long on prosperity; I'm just short on too much hype. And I think at this point "hype" is a gross understatement.

10 Stocks to 'Like' When Facebook Goes Public >>

As popular as Facebook is, it is still looking up to Google (GOOG) in the rankings among the most widely visited website in the world -- this according to alexa.com. While Facebook comes in a close second to Google, I am beginning to wonder what else does this second imply when one considers that it also lags Google in several other categories -- specifically in terms of business fundamentals. From that standpoint, investors need to ask, does Facebook really have a business? How much is social networking worth since it cannot be counted upon as a quantifiable metric?

It seems that I am among a small minority who interprets this as a limitation. Albeit this somewhat restraint still places Facebook the best in its class among peers such as Twitter and LinkedIn (LNKD) and even Google+, but at one point, MySpace enjoyed the same status until Facebook came along. The question is, can Facebook avoid a similar fate? Google's search intelligence is one advantage (among many) that it has over Facebook. Furthermore, its Google+ features are (at least) comparable (if not) superior to what Facebook offers.

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