Goodbye Facebook!

The sell off is coming with news that Yahoo is in serious discussions to purchase Facebook for an estimated $1 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports that Viacom and Microsoft were also interested in this student social network. You can't blame founder Mark Zuckerberg for taking the money, but you have to wonder if this doesn't spell the end to the Facebook fickle college students love. Some of my USC students say when Facebook takes on the qualities of MySpace, they're over it. News Corp purchased MySpace for $650 million and is in the process of monetizing it "big business" style. Facebook could become a corporate wanna be for Yahoo or whichever company wins it. This could be a very tricky acquisition. Facebook is not MySpace -- and students like it for that. Facebook says college, maybe high school -- certainly school. Students graduate from school. Could they graduate to MySpace or some other alternative? The social networking market is unpredictable. Right now the rage is video (YouTube, et al). Tomorrow, it will shuffle again. The start-up innovations of Gen Y that corporate baby boomers now covet could be their Trojan horse. Be careful what you wish for corporate America -- the future of social networks is uncharted territory and it may be difficult to stablize and monetize simultaneously.