A report today from an analyst at Capstone that Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) US user numbers have fallen by 1.1% over the past six months pushed the stock down by about -3.8% in the late afternoon. Even harder hit is social game maker Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), fell as much as -7.8% without even getting a mention in the Capstone report.
From a report at Bloomberg:
Of 23 countries where Facebook had at least 50 percent market penetration, growth was little changed or down in 14 nations over the past three months.
The analyst goes on to say that in most markets outside Southeast Asia and South America, Facebook already approaches 50% penetration. That does not include China, where Facebook is officially banned.
Zynga’s fortunes are fettered to Facebook’s, where fewer total Facebook users lower even further the number of people already abandoning Zynga’s games. The company’s CEO gave an interview last week in which he touted new games and how he thinks Zynga can attract people who have never played social games before.
As part of an overall strategy, that’s not too bad. In general, users like a steady stream of new games to play and Zynga wants to open its network to other developers and perhaps even publish third-party titles. What he didn’t say was how much the company would like to see real gambling on its Facebook casino games.
Interest in gambling doesn’t depend on new research and high-powered new development. The US market is known to exist, is huge, and can’t wait to place its first bets. More than any other single thing, real Internet gambling is the key to Zynga’s growth.
Shares of Zynga posted a new post-IPO low today of $4.45. The previous range was $4.78-$15.91. Shares have gained a bit, now down about -4.6%.
Facebook’s shares are now down less than -1% at $28.07 in a post-IPO range of $25.52-$45.00.