NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When it comes to discussing the future of social media giant Facebook (FB - Get Report), there is no shortage of experts ready and willing to offer an opinion -- including yours truly.
However, it seems when something positive is said about Facebook it draws "righteous anger" out of investors burnt by its initial public offering.
My recent article suggesting that one day the company's stock might reach $600 per share was not appreciated.
The premise was simple. Not only are there two sides to the story, but there are two distinctive viewpoints -- one from the investor perspective, the other from the user.As beaten up as the company might be among investors, evidence shows Facebook's popularity among users continues to grow. This is an indisputable fact. Investors may argue that the company's stock continues to drop. That might also be a fact, but we need to ask which of the two is most important at this point. Whether you like it or hate it, Facebook is not going anywhere. I think this is a reality with which the world must deal. What's more, all of the "doom and gloom" that now surrounds the company's future is more or less a good thing, extinguishing all of the larger-than-life expectations surrounding its IPO. That analysts have started to revise their outlooks downward is also a good sign the company will soon be given more reachable metrics for which to shoot. Although Facebook reported broadly respectable numbers in its most recent earnings report, compared to chief rival Google (GOOG) the revenue numbers were not that impressive and actually showed signs of slowing down despite rising 32% from a year ago. It's just the beginning. Yet, investors assume the company might not be able to grow at all. Understanding how Facebook makes money will go a long way towards answering that all-important question: How much is social media worth, particularly in an ad-driven model? Facebook's primary revenue stream comes from third-party royalties as well as advertisements displayed on its Web site. Though its main challenge will be its ability to monetize mobile, it has yet to effectively figure out ways to get its 955 million users to spend money. But it will.
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