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Posted October 25, 2007 by

15 Billion Reasons to Like Facebook

On-line social networking utility Facebook just received a $240 million investment from Microsoft for 1.6 percent of Facebook’s stock. That values Facebook at some $15 billion. Wow. Keep in mind that this site didn’t exist four years ago and was started by a few college kids in a dorm room at Harvard. Heck, they didn’t even have their own web server initially as they stole space and bandwidth from Harvard.
So what does this mean for candidates? More of the same. Facebook and sites like it provide tremendous opportunities and threats to college students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry level jobs and other opportunities. But any financial rationing that Facebook was experiencing will now disappear so it will now be more free than ever to market itself, enhance its infrastructure, hire more staff, enter into more partnerships. The investment will, in short, accelerate Facebook’s already tremendously accelerated growth. Students, recent graduates, and other candidates will find Facebook even easier and more enjoyable to use.
Because Facebook has virtually 100 percent penetration on-campus and is expanding its reach into people who graduated a few years ago or even many years ago, look for the average age of its user to increase from the current 25 years of age. The risque photographs and other content that caused Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers to tut tut their Gen Y children and grandchildren will now creep into the profiles of those same Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers, although probably not to the same degree. Employers who winced at seeing content that they traditionally have self-shielded themselves from will see more and from a broader cross section of candidates. The days of not seeing the face of your candidate until the interview are long past, so employers who are still clinging to that quaint tool to fight racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination better find other arrows in their quivers because like it or not, they’ll be seeing more and more of those photos from an increasingly broad range of candidates.