Making Sense of Social: Facebook I-P-Oh!
Facebook’s initial public offering might not interest you, but it caused quite a stir in the social media, business and technology worlds.
Shortly after purchasing Instagram for $1 billion, the behemonth social media site is offering investors a chance to join their team. It’s a gamble, as all stock purchases are. Everyone’s speculating if Facebook will stumble after the IPO, a la Groupon, or rise to crazy new highs like Apple who’s been hovering in the $500-600 range lately. Not a bad return on investment if you bought it at $8/share back in the late 90s.
So what impact could Facebook’s IPO have on you? In addition to the fact that the IPO is going to be a landmark milestone that underlines the strength of web-based technologies, that it’s likely to be the second largest US IPO in history (VISA Inc.’s 2008 IPO is largest, according to Dealogic), that there will be lots of buzz speculation around it, there are also user-based changes that might occur, such as:
Apps – get ready for more. Facebook needs to acquire, build and gain momentum with their platform-specific apps, especially mobile ones. Screens are getting smaller, users don’t rely on desktop computers anymore. Facebook has to capitalize on this ongoing shift and apps are one of the easiest.
Ads – it’s one of the big ways they make money, but Facebook needs to figure out a way to diversify their revenue sources. There’s likely to be an uptick in Facebook ads in the short-term, which seems annoying for users. There’s been a lot of recent blowback about ad efficacy from major brands, so the company will be working diligently to find other ways to capitalize on their colossal audience of 900 million. Whispers of a Facebook search engine aren’t going away.
All will become clearer over time, but for now, it’s fun to watch and speculate along. It’s the changing nature of social media that keeps it interesting.
Follow Brigette on Twitter @brigflood.