There’s a ton of high-quality user data on Facebook. So just how much is it worth? A San Francisco Chronicle takes a look.
A Mashable article reported that SharesPost, a marketplace for shares in privately owned companies, suggested an $11.5 billion value for Facebook, versus a $1.4 billion value for Twitter. Its value is largely due to the amount of information it provides about people.
Openbook, a wesite that allows users to search for embarrassing Facebook status updates, shows the volume of people whose accounts are set to broadcast status updates to everyone. For instance, a search for “cocaine” or “drunk” in Openbook’s search field yields status updates such as “Cocaine is a man’s best friend” and “I’m so drunk right now need to go to bed.”
Next to a name, gender, and profile picture (information that Facebook requires to be public), they create an impression, which could cost you. Consider the case of Natalie Blanchard, who had to fight to have her health benefits reinstated by her employer’s insurance company. She was being treated for depression, but Manulife Financial questioned her health claim after seeing Facebook photos of her partying on the beach.
The article also suggests that some security threats are thriving on Facebook. The Koobface worm has been lurking on Facebook since 2008, growing more sophisticated with its ability to create an account, friend strangers, and join groups.
And on Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users encountered a clickjacking worm that duped them into “liking” pages that led to the installation of malware for perpetuating the worm’s spread.
Researchers at VeriSign’s iDefense recently reported that a hacker named Kirllos claimed he had 1.5 million Facebook accounts for sale for a price of $20 to $45 per 1000 accounts, depending on the number of contacts. According to a New York Times story, Facebook said that its own investigation did not find the claim credible. Facebook did not answer an interview request for this article.
Popularity: 1% [?]