NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Is Facebook's
(FB - Get Report) stock better than Twitter's
(TWTR - Get Report)? Here's a question that's become a real battleground, that isn't really even a contested situation in the real world.
That's because Facebook is making a fortune and Twitter is losing a fortune. In the world of stocks, that's pretty much the only real salient piece of information you need. But in the world of Twitter -- or at least my bizarre, sometimes ridiculously contested Twitter feed -- it is irrelevant.
This weekend I lit up a firestorm on Twitter talking about how advertisers tell me they like Twitter because they get promoted without ever having to pay Twitter anything and they like Facebook because even though they have to pay Facebook and pay it handily, the results are fantastic.
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Facebook spends a huge amount of its time on its conference call talking about the return on investment advertisers crave. Twitter spends a tremendous amount of time on its call defending its existence and the relative metrics it wants you to evaluate it by. Facebook has accelerating revenue growth. Some would argue that Twitter has revenue growth but it isn't accelerating.
Facebook has made the transition from a curious anomaly to a company that's extremely lucrative with a very good mobile business. Twitter's made the latter transition, but not the former.
In other words, Twitter's playing by the old pseudo-rules of 2000-2001, while Facebook is playing by the same rules as every other company, as it trades at a high price-to-earnings ratio, but it at least has earnings to use in a P/E ratio.
When I suggested that Twitter might have more luck selling ads if there were fewer scatological attacks by mentioners, a sizable cohort of my feed was furious. The idea that I thought that a Gresham's law situation might be developing where the bad money drives out the good was viewed as total heresy.
Suddenly it didn't matter what the advertisers told me, because Twitter's making a ton of money anyway -- not true. It was irrelevant what I thought, because I am a celebrity user and my experience isn't average. That's just plain moronic. I always make it a practice to ask CEOs what they are doing to get new customers, and they invariably say they put ads on Facebook and get a great return. When I ask about Twitter, they invariably say: "Why do we have to place an ad on Twitter, the publicity comes for free."