With investors leapfrogging on the back of social networking and making investments heavily reliant on Facebook, a Guardian blogger asks “How big is the Facebook economy?” Bobbie Johnson remarks that from the number of press releases he’s received recently it seems that more and more Facebook-driven businesses are springing up across the world, which is no surprise given that Facebook’s creators have worked very hard to provide it with its own economic ecosystem. Here he estimates its value: “Facebook itself is due to post somewhere upwards of $1bn in revenue for 2010, but I’m more interested in what the other companies are doing… Back in November, Electronic Arts bought social gaming site Playfish, in a deal we are now told was worth around $275m. Meanwhile Zynga, another developer of popular games (like ) has already taken more than $200m of venture capital. Other companies making applications include Slide (also closely linked with MySpace but funded to the tune of $78m); Mindjolt (recently bought by MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, funding not public); and of course FriendFeed (bought by Facebook for around $50m). On top of that, there’s a huge number of companies like the aforementioned Smartdate, Plancast ($800,000); and a whole bunch of companies pushed forward by Facebook’s own $10m fbFund. That’s just the start.”
Who — or what — really controls your mind?