Business, Economics and Jobs

Are Facebook's days numbered? (VIDEO)


Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote address at the f8 Developer Conference April 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

Facebook stock has fallen by 27 percent, representing the largest two-week loss of any IPO since 1995. As Facebook's stock struggles in the market, at least one prominent analyst is predicting a quick death for the social media giant.

Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital, said Monday on CNBC's Squawk on the Street that he believes Facebook will go the way of Yahoo within the next decade.

"Yahoo is still making money, it's still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it's 10 percent of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it's disappeared," Jackson said. 

More from GlobalPost: Facebook stock continues to drop, company loses $35 billion in value

Facebook might die soon because of an inability to translate into web 3.0, he predicted. Jackson compared how previous web generations fared with their transitions and argued that history is destined to repeat itself.

"Look at how Google has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile," Jackson said. He added: "The world is moving faster, it’s getting more competitive, not less. I think those who are dominant in their prior generation are really going to have a hard time moving into this newer generation."

Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg are well aware of the company's growing mobile issue. Mashable reported that in its required initial pre-IPO disclosure of 35 “risk factors," Facebook admitted that as mobile use of Facebook grows, its ad-free mobile platform will become more problematic. In May, the company underscored that challenge again in an amended filing.

Mashable also noted the social website may be trying to buy its way into the mobile market. Facebook recently acquired the photo-sharing mobile service Instagram for a reported $1 billion. The photo app is only available on mobile devices, not on the web.

More from GlobalPost: Facebook Camera: Facebook's own Instagram

In another move to broaden its scope of the web, Facebook recently announced it is discussing the possibility of allowing members under the age of 13 to join.

This decision, however, may prove to be another nail in the coffin for both Zuckerberg and Facebook.

“They have so many problems with privacy and the impact of social media on the social, cognitive and emotional development of teens. Why on the earth would I want them to also go after my 8- or 9-year-old?” Jim Steyer, chief executive of the child advocacy group Common Sense Media, told the Washington Post. 

Speculation of Facebook's death is nothing new. It has been predicted for almost as long as the company has existed.

In May 2011, Inside Facebook, a website focused on developments within the social network, reported that the company lost nearly 6 million US users, falling from 155.2 million at the start of May to 149.4 million at the end of it. Users in Canada also fell significantly, by 1.52 million down to 16.6 million. Inside Facebook also noted that once 50 percent of a country's population joins Facebook, its growth on the site nearly stops.

Dips in North American users may not matter anyway. As Facebook continues its rapid growth abroad, US users will soon become the minority.

Gartner principal research analyst Shalini Verm told CNBC, "India could overtake the United States in the next three years. Last year, Facebook users in India doubled. Growth will be driven by mobile internet users in second- and third-tier cities." The key term of course being the use of mobile, which does not support ad dollars for the website. 

In the end Jackson doesn't believe that anything can save the internet's big white whale. He said, "Facebook can buy a bunch of mobile companies, but they are still a big, fat website and that's different from a mobile app."

More of Jackson's thoughts can be seen in his interview with CNBC:

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