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October 11, 2007

Microsoft employees love Facebook

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:39 AM

If you have a Facebook account, then perhaps you got the same message as I did today.

One of the stories Facebook inserted into my newsfeed was on some of the largest work networks on Facebook.

Surprise, surprise: Microsoft, the company rumored to possibly be buying a chunk of Facebook, came up as No. 2. That's right, Microsoft has the second-largest work network on Facebook with almost 17,000 employees.

Slightly ahead of Microsoft with the largest work network is IBM, with more than 20,000 employees.

Following IBM and Microsoft is Ernst & Young, Accenture and National Health Service. Now, I'd never heard of National Health Service, but a quick Google search revealed that it is the publicly funded health care system in the U.K. Go figure.

Those stats are interesting, but frankly, what makes Facebook the application of the decade is its intense student following, and there's a little bit of early evidence that it might be faltering.

Om Malik is writing on his blog that comScore is about to release its September 2007 market research report, and it seems the number of unique Facebook visitors took a little decline. In fact, he said, it's a 9.3 percent drop in unique visitors from 33.75 million in August to 30.6 million in September.

Possibly the decline corresponds with students returning to school and not being in front of a computer as much as they were over the summer. Who knows?

He then points out a blog post by The Wall Street Journal's Kara Swisher who says that despite this news, an investment of some sort in Facebook still seems to be in the works, and still likely at the insanely high valuation of $15 billion.

Who's interested?

She wrote:

"As has been reported here and elsewhere, one is Microsoft, of course, which is Facebook's ad-serving partner and which currently delivers the company a sweetheart guaranteed ad revenue payment of about $75 million annually.

But the second, said sources, is not, as might be expected, Google. It is, in fact, dark horse Yahoo."

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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