Syncapse is a company that specializes in social networking for brands and corporations and develops software called SocialTRAC. The software attempts to analyze purchasing habits and brand loyalties in order to determine social value. The company has said that the fans of BlackBerry on Facebook are valued at $245,214,042 (or $83.98 per user).
The idea that RIM’s 3M or so Facebook fans could be worth $245M seems far fetched. The company that is promoting these numbers has an obvious motive to inflate the value of social networks in order to promote the value of their product SocialTRAC. Also, the numbers don’t seem to add up. The official BlackBerry Facebook page has 1,149,891 users, and Syncapse is clearly including the 23 related pages for BlackBerry. These pages include all of the carriers and regions that would probably have duplicate users across several pages.
Compare these valuations with monetized social games and you get an idea of just how ridiculous an $83.98 per user valuation really is. EA bought Playfish for around $400M, and the company had 60M active users monthly. These users had direct spending which resulted in around $75M in yearly revenue for the company. At this revenue level, users were valuated at a mere $6.6 each. How much revenue is directly attributed to BlackBerry fans on Facebook? Zero.
While brand awareness and reach does have value, you have to make these numbers relative to real spending in order to get accurate valuations. The only per user valuation I have seen as high as Syncapse’s valuation of BlackBerry users on Facebook is LinkedIn users, which according to Web 2.0 Weekly, were valued at around $88. These users are owned by LinkedIn and therefore LinkedIn has the ability to sell them and collect revenue from premium services. RIM can’t do anything with their Facebook users other than message them and collect basic demographic details.
Overall, it looks like Syncapse has to completely reevaluate how their software works.