Today in Connected Consumer

If Facebook is worried about the plunging valuations of post-IPO tech stocks it isn’t showing it. According to a front page story in the Wall Street Journal this morning, the giant social network is eyeing a $10 billion initial offering sometime in the spring at a whopping valuation of $100 billion for the company. Word of Facebook’s valuation aspirations comes even as Groupon;s newly minted shares have plunged 42 percent since the company went public earlier this month. Another formerly high-flying tech company, LinkedIn, was forced into a hurry-up secondary offering earlier this month to keep its shares from plummeting below its IPO price. Social reviews site Yelp has seen its prospective valuation fall before it has even launched its IPO. Facebook will be going public on much more solid footing than the others, however. With revenue expected by reach $4 billion next year and more than 750 million users worldwide it doesn’t need to go public to become a real business.

Finally: Apple is now the most valuable company in the world.

Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil Corporation to become the company with the highest market cap after trading on Wednesday. It’s an achievement that comes as the result of a long, steady climb for Apple, aided in no small part by the iPhone and the iPad.

LinkedIn Is a Good Business, But Just How Good Is It?

LinkedIn went public on Thursday in one of the most eagerly-awaited stock offerings in years, and the shares doubled almost instantly, giving the company a market value of more than $9-billion. While the service is clearly a good business, is it really worth $9 billion?

Facebook Valuation Rumors: Two Key Questions

This week, tech insiders and observers are abuzz with estimates of how much Facebook is really worth. What set off the latest round of chatter was a Sunday morning Wall Street Journal report that Facebook could have a valuation of $100 billion after an IPO.

Only $50B? Facebook Stock Is Still a Steal

Everyone has been weighing in to decry the excessive hype leading to Facebook’s reported $50 billion valuation, but Ethan Kurzweil is convinced that it will rank as one of the best stock opportunities available today.

Is Facebook Worth $33 Billion? It’s Complicated

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s reported pledge to donate $100 million in stock to Newark schools has sparked a heated debate over the valuation of the company, which has been estimated at $33 billion. Some argue this is absurd, but the truth is not quite that simple.

Why Investing $100M in Twitter Isn’t Crazy

goodies_birdRaising $100 million is newsworthy for any company, but when it happened to Twitter this week, it also seemed to raise a hundred million eyebrows. Most notable was the company’s $1 billion valuation, which was labeled “exospheric” and “a new manifestation of the dot-com bubble” and invoked numerous comparisons to 1999 — aka, the Year of Investing Dangerously. But are Twitter’s new investors really crazy? Not at all. [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Why_Investing_100M_in_Twitter_Isn_t_Crazy] Read More about Why Investing $100M in Twitter Isn’t Crazy

Recession Scorecard: DVDs Down, Hulu & The Pirate Bay Up

The accelerating economic downturn is taking its toll on the entertainment industry, with DVD sales lagging and Blu-ray sales disappointing, according to the New York Times. DVD sales are down 4 percent so far this year, the paper reports, citing data collected by Warner Brothers. The results for the third quarter are even worse, with a 9 percent drop overall and a steep 22 percent decline for new titles, according to numbers from Nielsen VideoScan quoted by the Times.

Meanwhile, free online content is doing better than ever. Hulu attracted 5.3 million unique visitors in October, a nearly 90 percent surge over the previous month. The Pirate Bay doubled the number of simultaneously connected users within the last six months, reaching a total of 25 million peers in November. The site’s admins apparently couldn’t quite believe their logs either, asking somewhat perplexed: “Wtf is going on(?)” The answer, in short, is this: We are in a recession.

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