El verdadero valor de las redes sociales: infraestructura, datos e interconexión

4 minutes

Una de las conversaciones más habituales en las foros digitales es el debate sobre el verdadero valor de las redes sociales. Es decir, ¿cuánto “valen”? Entendiendo el “valor” como algo que ya saben depende mucho de la óptica desde la que se mire.

Estas compañías están sometidas a la visión de los mercados, por lo que debemos ceñirnos a ver su valor en bolsa. Utilizando Yahoo Finances (una herramienta de Yahoo realmente buena para hacer comparaciones de parámetros económico-financieros de las empresas), pueden ver en la primera tabla de comparación a Twitter (TWTR), Linkedin (LNKD), Faceboook (FB) y Google (GOOG) comparadas. Son muchos parámetros, pero fijense solo en la primera fila, su “valor en bolsa”: Twitter 14.830 millones de dólares (un Abertis o Repsol en España), Linkedin 30.120 millones (en España solo la superarían las cinco grandes: Inditex, Santander, Telefónica, Iberdrola y BBVA), Facebook 291.390 millones (es decir, vale tres veces Inditex más o menos) y Google 510.990 millones (cinco Inditex). En una segunda gráfica, la evolución de la cotización de la acción de Facebook.

Comparación de Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter y Google (Fuente: Yahoo Finances)
Comparación de Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter y Google (Fuente: Yahoo Finances)
Evolución de la cotización de Facebook (Fuente: Yahoo Finances)
Evolución de la cotización de Facebook (Fuente: Yahoo Finances)

Ya ven que la tendencia parece clara. Las redes sociales, si bien son difíciles de monetizar, valor, tienen. Que suba o baje, depende, obviamente la mayor expectativa de beneficios a futuro. Vamos, lo que se viene a denominar fondo de comercio. ¿Y cuál es éste? Esta es la gran pregunta que se hace todo el mundo.

El verdadero valor de las redes sociales, bajo mi punto de vista, no son ellas como tal, sino como soporte a otras industrias. Me viene un poco a la cabeza lo que ocurrió cuando tras la segunda revolución industrial apareció la electricidad. El debate se centraba en cómo sacarle dinero a tan magnífica invención. ¿Qué ocurrió? Que no se comenzó a generar valor en dicha red eléctrica hasta que aparecieron aplicaciones que explotaban la infraestructura eléctrica. Es decir, hasta que no vinieron los electrodomésticos y su incorporación a las labores del día a día, no se comenzó a sacar valor a la magnífica invención que fue la red eléctrica.

Fíjense en las dos siguientes gráficas. En la de la izquierda, aparecen las facilidades básicas (agua, calefacción central y electricidad), todas creciendo desde 1900. A la derecha, los electrodomésticos como la nevera, el aspirador, el secador, el lavavajillas, que aparecen un poco después, con un retraso de unos 20-25 años. ¿Estaremos ante una sitacuón parecida? ¿Tardaremos años en ver “aplicaciones conectadas a las redes sociales” para sacarle valor?

La aparición de los electrodomésticos a comienzos del Siglo XX (Fuente: http://www.jeremygreenwood.net/papers/engines.pdf)
La aparición de los electrodomésticos a comienzos del Siglo XX (Fuente: http://www.jeremygreenwood.net/papers/engines.pdf)

Estas aplicaciones sobre una red (en este caso la eléctrica), en la publicación de Greenwood, podemos ver cómo trajo también una liberación del trabajo doméstico en beneficio de un mayor ingreso en el mercado trabajo. ¿Estaremos ante un caso parecido?

Tiempo de trabajo en casa y en una ocupación (Fuente: http://www.jeremygreenwood.net/papers/engines.pdf)
Tiempo de trabajo en casa y en una ocupación (Fuente: http://www.jeremygreenwood.net/papers/engines.pdf)

El “por qué” de estas hipótesis se debe a tres elementos que considero están trayendo las redes sociales: 1) Aceleración de las transacciones; 2) Cantidad de datos generados; 3) Interconexión de personas.

En primer lugar, en cuanto a las transacciones. Como los bancos o los mercados en el pasado, constituye un elemento fundamental para conectar más a las personas, y por lo tanto, generar probabilidades de compra-venta. Al final estas redes aportan transparencia y confianza, como ya hacen AirBnB o Uber por ejemplo, que por activa y por pasiva, no paran de definirse como plataformas de intermediación social, y no como cadenas hoteleras u operadores de viaje. Fíjense que este detalle no es menor.

En segundo lugar, los datos. Es la materia prima que puede nutrir a muchas industrias. La promesa del Big Data. Más eficiencia en el proceso de asignación de recursos. Cuando Linkedin ofrece valor en un proceso de selección o Twitter en el proceso de búsqueda de nuevos segmentos de clientes, al final, lo que hacen es reducir el tiempo de búsqueda. Por lo tanto, mejor proceso de asignación. Y, en la medida que sigamos codificando conductas humanas de nuestra vida (deseos, capacidad, acciones, comportamientos, etc.), las máquinas, las redes sociales, más sabrán sobre nosortos, y más valor tendrán estas redes sociales. A más datos, más valor.

Y en tercer y último lugar, la interconexión. No olvidemos que lleva el concepto “red” en su nombre. Por lo tanto, la interconexión es inherente a su naturaleza. De hecho, el término “red”, se utiliza todavía mucho como una clasificación técnica (como el concepto “móvil” o “social”). Sin embargo, no deja de ser mercado, que deja fuera intermediarios, y aparecen nuevos.

Yo creo que esto es lo que están valorando los inversores: más capacidad de intermediar en transacciones, materia prima para otras industrias y un mundo más interconectado. Es decir, está invirtiendo en una red. En este caso, redes con el apellido social, donde estamos los humanos, que de nuestra relación sobre la misma, generamos valor que están capturando estas infraestructuras. En relación a este último punto, creo que es importante darnos cuenta que nosotros somos indispensables en todo esto. Nuestro perfil, como ya alerté en el artículo que hablé sobre Linkedin y su futuro valor, debe ser declarado un “Bien de interés público“.

Éste es el verdadero valor que creo tienen las redes sociales: una infraestructura que permitirá construir muchas aplicaciones sobre ella. Veremos mucha evolución en todo ello.

Autor: alrayon

Lecturer and Researcher at Deusto University. Somehow, a stranger that loves both technology and economics, a sinergy that will conquer the world.

29 opiniones en “El verdadero valor de las redes sociales: infraestructura, datos e interconexión”

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