Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter are engaged in a new round of silliness.
By changing how it displays pictures from its Instagram service, Facebook reduced its utility on the 140-character Twitter feed, which has been growing behind its SMS origins by supporting attachments, like Instagram pictures. The idea is that Twitter users will have to go to Instagram to see the whole photo, and see Facebook ads as well.
This is going to become increasingly common going into 2013. Everyone is now building a social network. In addition to Google+ (NASDAQ:GOOG), which I use, Musicians can join RoxtarNet. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has taken the beta wraps off its Socl network, while Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is backing a start-up called Qyuki.
The last may be more important for Facebook's future. It's based in India. Facebook is already seeing rivals capture the huge China market while it's shut out, and with the UN apparently determined to turn the Internet into a collection of national networks - with all the bureaucracy that entails - its international growth prospects appear to be dimming.
These moves are all based on sentiment and assumptions. Facebook is supposedly monetizing mobile. Facebook seems to have its act together. Maybe. But Facebook reports its earnings next month, and I still want to see what those are, and evaluate them against its real prospects, before putting money to work there.
I'd also like to see an end to the pissing matches.
Disclosure: I am long GOOG, MSFT. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.