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Facebook, Groupon: Is The Next Tech Bubble Social?

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

For insight, we've invited Beverly Macy to our studios here in Washington, D.C. She is CEO of the social media marketing conference Gravity Summit and the author of "The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing." It is so nice to meet you, Beverly.

BEVERLY MACY: Nice to be here.

HANSEN: Let's begin with the MySpace news. After announcing the lay-offs, News Corp, the media conglomerate which owns MySpace, said it's considering selling the site. Is the site worth buying?

MACY: Will we see it totally die out? That remains to be seen. So, we'll have to watch and see.

HANSEN: Let's talk about Facebook because it reportedly raised $500 million from the investment firm Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor. And the deal values Facebook at $50 billion - which means it's worth twice as much as Starbucks and Dell. What's going on?

MACY: But businesses are also looking at this. It's very exciting and we're just at the very beginning.

HANSEN: But what does it mean that a company like Goldman Sachs is reconsidering social media as a business practice?

MACY: Something's going on and this will cause people to really take a look.

HANSEN: Groupon, which is the online coupon site, said it closed a round of funding worth something like $950 million. The company had turned down a $6 billion acquisition from Google. Can you explain why a company like, well, Facebook but Groupon could be worth that much money?

MACY: They believe that they're just at the beginning of really a whole new business process and a whole new revenue stream. And I think they're right.

HANSEN: Getting back to possible clouds on the horizon, the difference between the tech bubble 10 years ago and now is that this time the companies are privately held. Do you expect them to initiate public offering?

MACY: And these companies are earning revenue and they're going to continue to earn revenue, so they can take their time. But we will see companies absolutely hit the ball out of the park. We'll see a couple of failures along the way, as well.

HANSEN: Beverly Macy is CEO of the social media marketing conference Gravity Summit and author of "The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing," and she joined us here in our Washington, D.C. studio. Thank you so much, Beverly.

MACY: Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.