Jason Calacanis: This Could Be Facebook’s AOL Peak, Their Yahoo Peak

Nov 19

Internet entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis suggests that Facebook may go the way of AOL and Yahoo. “This could be, it’s possible, maybe not probable but possible, this could be their AOL peak, their Yahoo peak,” said Calacanis. “I think this could be peak Facebook right now.”

Jason Calacanis, Internet entrepreneur and angel investor in over 150 startups including Uber, Evernote, and Tumblr, discussed the current Facebook crisis on CNBC:

This is a Pretty Serious Crisis

This is a pretty serious crisis. If you look at the stakeholders involved, shareholders obviously no longer want to hold the stock and you’re seeing the stock collapse. If you look at employee morale it’s incredibly low. Founders who sold their company to Facebook, to Zuckerberg, and made billions of dollars have been incredibly critical of Mark Zuckerberg, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. You give somebody a couple of billion dollars and then they criticize you on the way out the door, it’s pretty unheard of.

Advertisers Still Love the Platform

But advertisers still love the platform. Anecdotally, the companies I work with, private companies, it is the only game in town to reach users at this level of scale. One has to wonder if the fourth constituent, which is governments around the world, are going to put up with their democracies being compromised. You put those four stakeholders together and this is a true crisis for Facebook.

This could be, it’s possible, maybe not probable but possible, this could be their AOL peak, their Yahoo peak. Those companies peaked with hundreds of millions of users, and in AOL’s case 30 million plus paid users, and it took a decade or two for those companies to deprecate.

People Are Realizing That This is Not a Positive for Society

Facebook’s on a whole different scale with two and a half billion people, so I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon. The advertisers still love it and the advertisers are going to always go to the platform that has the lowest customer acquisition cost. But this is a crisis amongst the executives and the people who work there and I think people are starting to realize that net-net this is not a positive for society. Put it all together and you don’t want to own the stock and you don’t want to work at the company, so that’s pretty dark when you think about it.

This Could Be Peak Facebook Right Now

I don’t know that there’s an easy solution other than grinding it out for the next three or four years just like they did with the mobile problem. They couldn’t figure out mobile advertising and they figured that out so maybe they’ll figure this out. But I think this could be peak Facebook right now.

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