Ian Muttoo via Flickr
TORONTO — Hydro One, the giant transmission utility whose sale has sparked political controversy in Ontario, makes its debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange today in one of the largest initial public of...
Twitter is the latest in a string of companies putting users at the whim of hasty policy changes and a rapid monetization policy put in place for IPO. You want to use it? Pay for it. While there's technically nothing wrong with this idea -- Twitter is a company and they should make money -- the fact that they're still alluding to the impression that all users have an equal opportunity in achieving influence is just inaccurate.
On May 25, I questioned and debunked Facebook's "active users" number of 900 million in a column. This month, the company admitted that their unaudited numbers are wrong and misleading. Zuckerberg may be a technological whiz kid, but he has yet to demonstrate that he can run a public company.
Facebook is learning that what people like to chat about when they should be working isn't a very effective way to match ads to eyeballs. LinkedIn on the other hand has a very specific type of advertising structure, and one that works very well: job postings. Is there an ad people want to see more than one promising a better career?
I bought Google in its early days because I figured out the business model, and that it was simply a ubiquitous newspaper with a gargantuan circulation that would make billions by selling ads around its content. But I didn't buy Facebook because I have never understood it. But here's another angle that bothered me.
Despite its inflated IPO, Facebook couldn't look more different from what we hoped it might someday be. The problem is that no one's happy: Customers are subjected to more and more ads, and the companies who created those ads aren't seeing much of a return on investment. But the IPO adds another wrinkle to the equation...