The following is an excerpt from NANCY MILLER | August 2, 2012 | Thefiscaltimes.com |
Facebook, the giant in social media, is still a midget in mobile. Though the social media giant has asked investors to have confidence that it will come through with a plan to make money from a fast-growing mobile user base – now 540 million users, up from 20 million three years ago – the change in the mix of users has been responsible for a dramatic slowdown in the rate of revenue growth over the past year. COO Sheryl Sandberg told investors last week that the company’s first foray into mobile advertising was bringing in just under $500,000 a day – not enough to prevent investors from hammering the stock. Facebook (FB) shares closed Wednesday at a new low of $20.86 a share, and have fallen 22 percent since reporting second-quarter earnings a week ago.
Mobile could well turn out to be the David that topples the social media Goliath. But another, albeit much smaller, tech IPO asking for a similar show of faith has gotten a vastly different reception. Shares of Kayak Software (KYAK), a travel comparison service, soared on their first day of trading, July 20. After pricing at $26, the stock opened above $30 and closed that first day north of $33. And Kayak remains in the green, up nearly 27% since its IPO.
Turns out, there’s mobile and then there’s mobile for travel.
Founded in 2004 by veterans of Priceline, Travelocity and Orbitz, Kayak has made big inroads in travel aggregation, searching hundreds of other sites and compiling the results in one place so users don’t have to click through multiple sites to find the deal they want. The field is competitive – and Google owns one of its main information sources for flights – but fans say that Kayak distinguishes itself because it’s easy to use and quick; they rave about its customer service.
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