Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has put a dark cloud of uncertainty over the rumors of Microsoft’s proposed purchase of a 5% stake-holding in social network facebook with recent comments. Ballmer was yesterday quoted as saying “I think these things [social networks] are going to have some legs, and yet there’s a faddishness, a faddish nature about anything that basically appeals to younger people.”
Mmmmm, $500 million for 5% of a fad? Has the likelihood that Microsoft will make this investment just taken a turn down negative street?
One thing that I do find interesting about Mr Ballmer’s comments is his reference to ‘younger people’ and the theory that anything that appeals to them has a ‘faddish’ nature. Quite a big call, don’t you think?
For starters, the demographic make-up of Facebook’s community is actually a lot older than most would think according to some research I found. As much as I would like to think that 35 year olds fit in the ‘young people’ category, common sense would suggest that this demographic is a little more mature, affluent and less ‘faddish’.
So maybe there is a little bit of a bluff behind the Microsoft CEO’s comments about the Facebook fad. A recent article from the New York Times certainly suggests that although Microsoft may believe that Facebook is a fad, it’s a fad that they want to be a big part of in their new move into a more ad-generated revenue strategy.