Reports from Hitwise indicate that Facebook surpassed Google in page views, at least temporarily (there must be smiles on the faces of Facebook’s employees and venture funding sources). It will be interesting to see if Facebook will at some point help drive more traffic (for business purposes) than Google. If it can, its valuation should be higher than Google’s at some point.
The key question in my mind is whether people who want to socialize will use Facebook enough so that it becomes the effective homepage of the users. If it does, it might be game over as even if social interaction behavior does not drive traffic, Facebook can at some point put its own search engine in place (or OEM someone Else’s), which we already know drives traffic (at least at this point).
The back-up question in my mind is whether Facebook users will form enough great “tribes” that will better direct other users to what they are looking for. If this happens and Facebook can get the searcher to the right “tribe” then Facebook will be able to steer traffic in a different manner. Of course, this might not be as profitable as the current search profit (however, it might be more profitable than future search traffic).
Another question on my mind is what the Facebook company exit strategy is. I would continue to stay private as long as I could if I were them, but it will be interesting to see what they decide to do.
It will be entertaining to see how things unfold and congratulations to Facebook for an amazing accomplishment! As an expansion stage venture capitalist, it is great to see the success of young companies…