Does $1 Billion Instagram Purchase Prove Social Media Bubble?

Facebook has just spent a lot of money to purchase a photo sharing app that costs zero dollars to use and has no source of revenue. That sounds to us a lot like a bubble market. 

What's the Latest Development?


Facebook has just spent an awful lot of money to buy Instagram, a photo sharing app which costs nothing to use and has no revenue source. To some, it confirms the recent mumbling over a possible social media bubble. "There's widespread agreement that bubbles occur when a speculative mania causes the price of an asset to soar far above its intrinsic worth," wrote the New York Times' James Stewart last July, referring to LinkedIn's possible over-valuation. For social media companies, value usually comes from advertising revenue or selling a product to the public. Facebook advertises, for example, and Zynga sells games. 

What's the Big Idea?

Instagram does not really have a business model at all. But for Facebook, the photo app's value likely comes from its popularity, which went from 5 to 30 million users in the last 10 months. Some tech analysts say that Facebook, which already has integration with Instagram, has just bought the competition. As for a new tech bubble, the fact that we are even talking about one may mean there is no bubble. 'A key characteristic of a bubble is that no one thinks it's a bubble. If everybody's upset, it's a good sign,' said Netscape founder Marc Andreesen. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less