Microsoft looking to buy 5% stake in Facebook

Web 2.0

facebook_logo.jpgTalk of Microsoft buying some part of Facebook isn’t new, and as you’d expect, there’s already at least one Facebook group dedicated to the subject, but the Wall Street Journal reports today that a deal could be nearing completion.

Fortunately, and despite all of their cash, Microsoft are only looking to buy a minority stake — up to five per cent — of the popular, independent social networking site. It could cost them between $300m and $500m, according to analysts.

It looks like Google might be interested in a stake as well, and we know what rivalry goes on between those two giants.

It’s also clear that many Facebook users are vehemently against any corporate intrusion, and though doing a deal might be financially lucrative for Facebook, it risks a backlash from a small but vocal group of users.

Most users probably don’t care. They’ve got Microsoft all over their PCs anyway, and they probably don’t really care who owns Facebook so long as it remains free to use and secure.

Um, yeah, secure.

In any case, the likes of Microsoft and Google want in on Facebook and other Web 2.0 social sites for the advertising revenue they can get. Although one-third of social networking users enter false information to protect their identities, there’s still a goldmine of demographic information available to anyone with access to these sites’ member databases.

Scared yet?

Andy Merrett
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