Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Facebook: Bigger Than France

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

The Population Reference Bureau estimates the population of France at 62 million as of mid-2008. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pegs his site's population at 125 million. Facebook is bigger than France. Heck, it's twice as big.

Congrats, Facebook Nation. You're officially huge. Maybe it's time that this Silicon Valley resident bid for a seat at the United Nations?

Well, okay, maybe not. An IPO isn't in the works, and it may not be for years. Executives are cashing in stock, then leaving. Beacon, the intrusive ad platform whose failure made headlines last year, is back in the news thanks to a civil lawsuit filed this summer. Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Friend Connect and OpenSocial programming interfaces, while not directly competitive, should create more social software and, thereby more competition for Facebook.

In short, France hasn't seen an assault like this since Burger King co-opted the croissant for its (ahem) breakfast sandwiches.

Yet Facebook continues to attract users. Last week, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook has 280,000 applications hosted at its site, small programs that enhance the service. Some, like Mob Wars, are huge moneymakers. Facebook's own virtual gifts -- $1 page decorations -- bring in more than $30 million annually.

That's today. Tomorrow, Sandberg says, you'll see Facebook become like France -- and the U.S., U.K., China, or any other country -- as a platform for business. Count Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) among the early adopters. Using's (NYSE: CRM  ) cloud computing tools, Starbucks has created "My Starbucks Idea," a community for gathering feedback from customers. It will soon expand the app to a home on Facebook as well. Think of this social-networking site as a country-sized platform that's more diverse than Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone App Store or Google's Android Market.

Frankly, Facebook's size and grown-up ambitions are huge differentiators. While News Corp's (NYSE: NWS  ) MySpace is selling virtual gifts, Facebook is creating a business-friendly virtual economy whose borders have yet to be fully defined.

The revolution is upon you, Fool, and it's serving no-foam skinny lattes. Want a croissant with yours?

Take a sip of related Foolishness:

Apple and Starbucks are Stock Advisor selections. Starbucks is also an Inside Value pick. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of these market-beating services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and Google at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy will take a no-foam, no-whip, decaffeinated half-caf, if you don't mind.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 772887, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 10:38:23 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 hour ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.68 -29.65 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,133.04 -6.39 -0.30%
NASD 5,215.97 -34.29 -0.65%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $114.48 Down -1.11 -0.96%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
CRM $74.74 Down -0.21 -0.28% CAPS Rating: ***
FOX $26.24 Down -0.28 -1.06%
Twenty-First Centu… CAPS Rating: ***
GOOGL $817.35 Down -4.75 -0.58%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
SBUX $53.59 Down -0.04 -0.07%
Starbucks CAPS Rating: ****