Is Facebook a fad?
The question has been bandied about for months, both before and after the IPO. Experts seem divided, but this analysis by Eric Jackson of Ironfire Capital makes a lot of sense.
Facebook will lose dominance as a major web company in less than a decade, Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital said Monday on CNBC's Squawk on the Street.
"In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared," Jackson said. "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 there have been three generations of web companies. The first generation was big web portals, such as Yahoo [YHOO 14.99 -0.02 (-0.13%) ], where content was aggregated in one place. The second was the social web with Facebook [FB 27.40 0.50 (+1.86%) ] and the third generation is companies focused entirely on monetizing the mobile platform, something Facebook will continue to struggle with, Jackson said.
"When you look over these three generations, no matter how successful you are in one generation, you don't seem to be able to translate that into success in the second generation, no matter how much money you have in the bank, no matter how many smart PhDs you have working for you," Jackson said. "Look at how Google [GOOG 574.336 -4.254 (-0.74%) ] has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile."
Mobile has been the "next big thing" for a while, and there appear to be winners and losers in monetizing the platform. Not many winners emerge from social media - yet. Someone may figure it out. It could even be Facebook. But the questions about the IPO reveal some healthy skepticism from investors about the staying power of Facebook and whether it is nimble enough to make the next big leap into mobile a profitable venture.