Techworld

Facebook to be 'biggest bank' by 2015

Games to finance global banking empire

Metal International founder and president, Ken Rutkowski

Metal International founder and president, Ken Rutkowski

The explosion of social networking commerce will lead to the unlikely candidate of Facebook becoming the world’s biggest bank by the middle of the decade, according to a technology observer and entrepreneur.

People who don’t have a Facebook account should get one or risk having a financial profile created for them says founder and president of Metal International, Ken Rutkowski.

“My Facebook rank is number 29 of all the users and I have raised $100 million in funding for a few different companies,” Rutkowski said.

“Old school media companies have a market capitalisation of $US241.7 billion but the new school media companies are worth $319.7 billion,” he said.

Of the “new school” media companies Google has the largest share with Facebook coming up behind it. Facebook, however, has more ambitions in its sights than just social networking.

“Facebook has 680 million users and that’s massive,” he said. “Who doesn’t have a Facebook profile? Let me tell you why it’s important why you do.”

“Facebook will be the largest bank by 2015. I hear you say ‘how can they be a bank’ what’s going on?”

According to Rutkowski, Facebook credits allow people to play games and Facebook is already doing deals with the banks for credit profiles.

“If you play games on Facebook, which, by the way 40 to 50 per cent of the time spent on Facebook is playing games, and those games – like Farmville and Mafia Wars – are paid for and you have to buy credits for that and they are called Facebook Credits.”

Rutkowski cited the company Zynga that created Farmville as being worth almost $12 billion now and it “didn’t even exist 18 months ago”.

“In China and a lot of the Asian areas right now that is becoming a massive revenue source and that currency is going to start spreading and Facebook is doing deals with banks around the world right now to create an exchange mechanism,” he said.

“Why is its important to have a profile? They are going to start using that to determine what your credit worthiness is.”

“By the way, if you don’t have a profile they will make one for you so it’s better for you to create it and manage it than them. That’s why you want to be selective with what you put on there. If you have kids that are being idiots online make sure you stop them right away as they are creating a pretty negative profile long term and it happens often.”

Rutkowski runs the Founder Institute in Los Angeles which launches about 1000 companies year and prides himself as being the fist person to coin the term “Web 3.0” during a press conference with Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Rutkowski asked Schmidt what Google was doing with “Web 3.0” and Schmidt replied Web 2.0 was just a marketing term and that he was “the inventor” of Web 3.0.

“If you have a bricks and mortar business or website you have to move people to where you are at. Then you have to manage them, then you have to measure them and then you have to monetize them,” he said.

In an interesting turn of events, Apple, an IT company, now has the most profitable retail business in the world.

“Apple retail stores do $2400 per square metre of floor space compared with Tiffany’s which does $700 per square metre per day,” Rutkowski said.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

Tags Farmvillee-commercegamingZyngasocial networkingbanksFacebook

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16 Comments

Lunix defender!

1

This person sounds like an idiot. How exactly can they just "create a profile for me"? That sounds like it would violate all sorts of privacy laws.

This article lies.

2

What a bunch of filth. Are you seriously trying to scare people into thinking that not having a Facebook account will hurt their credit profile? Please.

anonymous

3

His facebook rank is 29? It is pretty rare that I lose respect for the subject and the journalist in a single sentence...

mike

4

This guy has totally lost reality... Facebook will never become a bank or anything like that. It's just a dumb ass profile site for people who want to lose their privacy. Goldman sacks are currently in on it and they are known for investing in bags of air so they can go short on it as soon as the air flows out of it. Talking about air bubbles, InternetBubble 2.0 is about to reach us, let's see what all those companies are worth as soon as the hot air is gone. Web 3.0 ? That phrase just proves that I'm right about the guys view on reality.

What the Christ?

5

This article makes little to no sense. Make a coherent point, dammit!

anonymous

6

He should get his facts right if he wants any credibility.

"Zynga did not exist 18 months ago" ? Wrong!

anselm

7

He coined Web 3.0. What a hyperventilating idiot.

Terry Rogers

8

Eric Schmidt claims Ken is the creator of Web 3.0 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0QJmmdw3b0

I agree with this guy Ken. I have heard about Facebook Credits and how many people around the world will be using their currency.

In Bank 2.0. it suggest Facebook will be one of the biggest Banks also. http://www.amazon.com/Bank-2-0-Customer-Technology-Financial/dp/9814302074

mrgruffy

9

These comments are out of control! How could you get so upset about a silly article.

I'd like to reply to the guy who said something along the lines of "Facebook...hot air." You, my friend, are an idiot.

And in response to the article, Ken is a very informed person in Media and Technology, and he has insights that 99.9% of these readers can't comprehend. It seems that everyone has forgotten how far ahead innovative minds are from the herd- and yes, there does exist a herd even in the "niche" community of technology enthusiasts.

pnkbtch

10

Wow. Just wow. This guy took too much Charlie Sheen, and now his face is melting off.
As much as I respect the opinion of Random Guy #29, I'd prefer actual evidence, not a pretty story.

Anonomyous

11

HAHAHAHAHA, Does this guy know April fools was on the 1st of April. There is no way on earth that credit ratings will be based on a social networking site. Biggest load of tosh I have ever heard.

zauselq

12

Utterly disgusting! I you want to control me come here and face me.

Scott Riley

13


I find it curious that there is such value placed on opinions and numbers of people. There are opinions everywhere, people everywhere. In facebook, there are is substantially less than the stated number of people actually using the site under one name given that many of the accounts are duplicates for the purposes of manipulating the social applications thereunder. As for giving facebook money to give it value, the only people doing that as far as I know would be targeted advertisers. Kijiji is probably a better model to follow. Right now, facebook would never manage a currency or information (worth something) in such a way as to have value to anyone else other than segregated opinions as targets for brick and mortar companies marketing a tangible, products. Other companies already manage opinion polls with more credibility. No, I think the power in the concept of a facebook site lies more in the political arena, creating a virtual population of verified real people, and evolving it to allow communities to vote on real-world issues, removing the need to elect anyone to anything. If you want more people to vote - let them vote directly on the issues concerned. Imagine no politicians! We are already in a Global economy, soon to be driven by a value system and belief system deciding on global policies governing communities which exist within the boundaries of the issues alone regardless of where we really live. Facebook is the closest to a meaningful size and self-governance to allow this to happen, and it is already being used as a vehicle to serve people legitimately for legal purposes. Having said all that, we all forget that facebook is no longer in control of facebook. You are. But, to be on the ground floor of this kind of working infrastructure would ultimately hold greater value than any bank if it works. And before the sample space of actual people reaches the scale necessary to make any of this happen, everyone needs to get along well enough to make it work. Of that, I remain cautiously optimistic.

William Quigley

14

Ken is a smart guy. And is one of the most connected people (connected with smart thinkers) that I have ever met. I think some of the commenters on this site don't appreciate the value of provocative ideas.

Jim White

15

Would Facebook not have to revamp their security if they were to go near such levels within the financial sector? I know bank fraud happens all too often, but rarely does it happen directly through the bank homepage/official online account. There's also the auto-tagging spam that appears to happen as well (marketing?).

I'm not going to question the articles author as I've no where near enough experience or knowledge to do so, however the article is a little vague at times. Also 2015 is that far off, but then again with tech there's a lot that'll go down in the next 3-4 years.

Peace

Paul

16

"Wow. Just wow. This guy took too much Charlie Sheen, and now his face is melting off."
I love it :D

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