With over 1.7 billion monthly active users, it is no hyperbole to say that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is the king of social media. Consider as well that the global population is 7.5 billion. Based on this statistic, nearly 23% of the world is actively using Facebook. Frankly, I don’t care what other metrics people use to judge FB stock. What I just mentioned more than explains its tremendous enthusiasm.
Overwhelmingly bullish, most analysts see little reason to change that assessment.
Sure, Facebook stock may be getting a little rich on the valuation side of things. For instance, FB is trading at over 38-times trailing earnings. Roughly 61% of internet content and information companies feature a lower premium. That said, few competitors can claim as clean of a balance sheet, or as robust of an income statement as Facebook.
Analysts are also loathe to abandon allegiances to FB stock because it completely destroys its publicly traded rivals. Take a look at Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Although President Trump’s favorite social media network has anywhere between 695 million to 1.3 billion registered users, its monthly active users total only 319 million.
Snap Inc’s (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat app fares much worse. Last year, it managed to crack the 115 million user mark. In and of itself, that’s an impressive haul, but it’s less than 7% of active Facebook users.
Despite the fact that Snapchat is marketed towards the younger demographic, FB is still killing it in that area too. According to Statistic Brain, 48% of 18- to 34-year-olds check their Facebook account when they wake up, and 28% of the demographic do so before going to sleep.
Nobody wants to be outright bearish on FB stock, for good reason.
Is Steemit the Facebook Killer?
I don’t expect this optimistic dynamic to change anytime soon. Those that already feature FB stock in their portfolio should enjoy many years of steady gains. At the same time, Facebook is a technology company too, and this sector is incredibly volatile. Even FB, as great as it is, cannot afford to be complacent.
A major, potential risk to the social media giant’s dominance is an open-source network called Steemit. What makes Steemit distinct from the litany of social media garbage is that it runs on its own blockchain-powered cryptocurrency called steem.
Yahoo Finance‘s Daniel Roberts explains it like this: “Steemit users publish a blog post — it could be any length, any topic at all — and other users can “upvote” it. The twist: Every upvote represents a small amount of steem power. Think of steem power as a representation of influence, because the more you have, the more power your upvote has to move someone else’s post up when you upvote it. Steem power can be converted to steem dollars, which at the moment trade for about $3.25 USD each.”
With Steemit, you get paid to do what you normally do on Facebook for free. If the platform did take off, FB stock would genuinely become troubled.
However, Mr. Roberts remains unconvinced. Despite the fact that the writer posted an introductory note on Steemit and made $120 in the steem cryptocurrency, he stated that Steemit becoming a Facebook killer was “a stretch.”
I take a far different approach.
FB Stock Faces Potential “Steem”-Rolling!
First, the blockchain-powered bitcoin and the concept of digital currencies is the future of finance. I’m holding onto bitcoin through its ups-and-downs because eventually, it will hit $10,000. To the doubters, laugh, and laugh some more. I’ll be sipping champagne first-class to Paris, while you’re begging your mutual fund to beat inflation!
On a less combative note, I tried Steemit and found resounding success with it. Last April, I signed onto the network, bought approximately $100 worth of the steem currency, and contributed content consistently. In less than two months, my steem coins are worth well over $3,700. In contrast, I made zero dollars with Facebook, and not even FB stock could offer me a 3,600% return on my money.
Invariably, though, new Steemit users fear that the money has already been made. But that’s just not the case. For example, user “@silverfortune” signed in just days ago, and is slated to make over $100. A musician going by the screen name “@wvm” is selling his music through the social media network. Cryptocurrency news aggregator “@technium” makes consistent money blogging about bitcoin-related events.
Additionally, Steemit users can generate income through content curation, which involves voting for and engaging with content creators. Curators “@cassidyandfranks” and “@artbyjulia” have racked up steem coins doing exactly that.
In most cases, the income is nowhere near life-changing. However, the fundamental danger to FB stock is that Steemit successfully demonstrated that social media can financially benefit regular folks. Once more people recognize that — with effort and dedication — you can earn cryptocurrencies for activities that are usually done for free, it’s hard to imagine why anybody would still use Facebook.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto was long bitcoin and steem.