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Facebook Prepping For Massive Hiring Spree

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the full-employment-by-tuesday dept.

Facebook 105

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook plans to nearly double in size in the next year. The social network announced plans on Friday to dramatically expand its NYC operations, adding a wealth of new engineers to enhance features and write fresh code for the website that links more than 800 million users worldwide. 'We'll be adding thousands of employees in the next year,' Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg announced from the company's New York City offices on Friday. Facebook currently has about 3,000 employees in California, Sandberg said, but just 100 in its Big Apple facility — mainly marketing staff. The company plans to expand that Madison Avenue office by opening its first East Coast engineering office."A related note from reader kodiaktau: "Facebook has bought location sharing provider Gowalla for an unknown sum of money. The folks moving from Gowalla will be working specifically on the Facebook timeline features, Facebooks next big thing that allows users to socially look backward at their social timeline."

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Pyramids (1, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252372)

Facebook can't keep growing, its a pyramid scheme. Once it saturates it must collapse because there won't be more people to get on facebook.

Re:Pyramids (3, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252408)

So? Nothing can keep growing indefinitely.

Re:Pyramids (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252472)

Pyramid schemes break when they stop growing.

Re:Pyramids (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252656)

Alright - explain how Facebook is a pyramid scheme. Are people being paid to recruit more Facebook members, or what?

I'm no great fan of Facebook, but you seem to be talking about biology in a quantum physics class. Social networks might be used to create and to drive a pyramid scheme, but the network itself is not a pyramid scheme.

Re:Pyramids (5, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252870)

I don't think that I would say facebook is a pyramid scheme by definition (though if you use the promise of notoriety or acceptance as your currency then maybe) but it does have the same fatal flaws as a pyramid scheme.

Facebook acquires it's revenue by sale of personal information (direct or aggregate I can't say for sure). This information has continued diminishing returns as each new bit about a person becomes less valuable once you have a significant profile. The only way to continue revenue growth, through sellable information, is to continue to gather fresh information. This can only happen by adding more people's data, not more data on the same people. More people only join if you can give an incentive to the current users to stay as members and/or have them convince their associates to join and share their information. Eventually you run out of new people, and revenue drops do to the aforementioned diminishing returns.

Facebook already knows all this so its not like I'm sharing any big secret, which is exactly why they are looking to double in size now, so that they can bring in enough fresh information (new users) sooner rather than later. The are creating their own stock bubble, and they are well aware of that.

Re:Pyramids (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253176)

Didn't they also sell real estate from the right column of their frontend?
I remember Microsoft having put a great deal of money into that.
If google can continue getting rich from adds why shouldn't facebook?

Re: returns (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254296)

I'm not so sure it's diminishing returns. Let me try a counter argument from some new academic fields.

What Microsoft taught us (which indirectly led to the Gates Borg icon) is that a single locked in vendor of a type of service will remain the front runner for a very long time. Yes I was young, but I was still laughing at Windows as late as 3.11 as inferior to the Mac OS, which would have been about 1994. But by 1998 for the first repairs to daily Blue Screens and then 2001 for Windows XP (with subsequent service packs) Microsoft sealed the Meta-Game of computing as we know it for ... sorta forever.

Now in the Social realm, AOL almost had it, MySpace was interesting for a couple of years, but Facebook seems to have landed the Big Gun connections to really scare the Social industry. They're on track to being the Microsoft of Social.

So wrapping up, it's race between Bubble effect and Meta-Game leading lock down that will last for decades.

Re:Pyramids (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255434)

Facebook acquires it's revenue by sale of personal information (direct or aggregate I can't say for sure). This information has continued diminishing returns as each new bit about a person becomes less valuable once you have a significant profile. The only way to continue revenue growth, through sellable information, is to continue to gather fresh information.

There's also the business called "selling advertisements". Google has grown to its current size by just doing that.

Facebook has the eyeballs and the data to make its ads selling business even more efficient than Google. While Google has to guess whether you may be interested in (for example) a new movie, Facebook already knows what movies you like and could show you ads of the same genre, or starring similar actors. The possibilities are simply endless.

Advertising isn't a business with diminishing returns, otherwise most advertising agencies (incl. Google) would have been gone by now.

I'm suspecting their need for more manpower is actually due to needing to implement what I described the above. It sounds great on paper, but I can imagine it being a bitch to implement correctly.

Re:Pyramids (1)

lJlolel (789483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38256872)

In other ways, it works more like a ponzi scheme: http://www.jperla.com/blog/post/facebook-is-a-ponzi-scheme [jperla.com]

Now that you know what a Ponzi scheme is, I will tell you how and why Facebook is like a Ponzi Scheme. The argument is similar to how Paul Graham describes that Yahoo was a ponzi scheme in 1998.

Facebook posts huge revenues. In fact, recent reports are that Facebook is very profitable. This boosts both their respect in the world and their valuation. However, these returns, while real, are unsustainable. They exist and are sustained in the same manner that Ponzi schemes are. Facebook is a Ponzi Scheme.

Have you ever bought a Facebook ad? I have. I have talked to many, many people who have. We have spent hundreds, many have spent thousands or even more, experimenting with Facebook ads. They are worthless. Nobody ever looks at them, and nobody ever clicks on them. I just talked to someone who was trying to promote a book. He found it cost him over $100 in ads to sell one book. Moreover, as you increase your ad spending, people get used to the ads and just ignore them. So, your already low click-through rate plummets even further.

People go to Facebook to interact with their friends. It is fundamentally different from the ad platform that is Google. People go to Google to find something they need, possibly ready to buy, which a good percentage of the time can in fact be solved by someone's ad. Facebook ads, on the other hand, annoy users. They yield no real value, and thus no profits.

But, then, how is Facebook so profitable? Are they lying? No. They are growing. More and more people sign up to Facebook, and more and more businesses hear about how many people are on Facebook. It seems like a huge opportunity. TV shows and award-winning movies are made about Facebook.

Because of Facebook's presumed success, many small, medium, and large businesses individually and in turn experiment with Facebook ads. They spend hundreds or thousands or more on Facebook ads. At the end of the first run, they see bad ROIs. They tweak the ads and spend more money and try again. Nothing. So they stop, understanding that Facebook ads are worthless. Almost everyone I've talked to who has actually bought Facebook ads knows this. But, not everyone has bought Facebook ads yet. There are still more and more new businesses finding out about Facebook ads. As they grow, even more businesses give their money to experiment in destined failure.

Eventually, though, and this might take a long time, but it is finite, everyone will have tried Facebook ads and know that they are useless. Eventually, after 10 million businesses have invested $1000 each, and Facebook has earned $10 billion in revenue in total, then they will have run out of new customers and their revenue will dry up. A useless product is never sustainable. I wish I could short Facebook.

Now, it is possible that some extremely niche businesses have found limited utility from ads (for example, BustedTees and social games may be the lucky few). It has been shown, however, that some of the biggest advertisers are huge, outright scams and others have deceptive practices at best. Also, Mark Zuckerberg might have a fit of brilliance and then announce a revolutionary ad platform that somehow actually works on social networks. My guess is not. They haven't yet. What is clear from everyone I know who has advertised on Facebook is that it was a waste of money. Facebook promises big returns on ad spending, but delivers nothing. Yet, their value and growth continues because they can use that money to grow their user-base more and assert profitability (in this sense it's not quite entirely a ponzi scheme, but there is no closer idea). It's possible that they do not even realize that they are like a Ponzi scheme.

That's right, they may not even realize that their ad platform is completely useless because they always get new clients signing up and giving up their offering to the god of web 2.0 hype. They may be blind, as I used to be. They may be truly surprised when the supply of suckers runs dry.

More likely, in the end, they will get teenagers to pay a monthly fee to host all of their party photos. Of course, then the next VC-funded Facebook (just as MySpace killed Friendster, and Facebook killed MySpace, so will NextFB kill Facebook) will offer the same services and be free and take over the "market." The cycle repeats itself.

Re:Pyramids (1)

marcovje (205102) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253214)

The pyramid scheme would be propping up user numbers to indicate marketshare, to inflate the stock and IPO

But facebook afaik is profitable (though not wildy), so in this it doesn't apply.

Re:Pyramids (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253332)

You're describing pump-and-dump, not pyramid. Different schemes.

Re:Pyramids (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255664)

It's called primping up for the great big "Goldman Sachs" controlled sale. The scumbag running dog of the financial world is directly involved in the great sale to the gullible public and of course the corrupt executives who control pension funds to, of Facebook. So it ain't a pyramid scheme yet but it soon will be. How come the company hasn't been shut down and all of it's executives thrown in jail.

Re:Pyramids (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252684)

I don't think you really understand what a pyramid scheme is.

Re:Pyramids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252682)

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Re:Pyramids (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253094)

I wish someone would explain this to, you know, every person in charge of a business ever. "We didn't have growth this quarter! We're fucked!" "The economy is in the shitter, everyone's fucked man! Calm down."

Re:Pyramids (2)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254006)

If you're a privately held company, that's fine.

But if you're traded, you need to show growth or some forecast that stock value will go up or you become a less attractive property for investors. Then your stock price goes down.

The end result is that corporations act myopicly in pursuit of high stock prices for each quarter. Long term strategy falls by the wayside.

I'm not saying I agree with the system, in fact I think it's fairly broken. But growth *does* matter the way the system is currently set up for publicly held companies.

Re:Pyramids (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38256796)

That is exactly why I think the whole public traded company model is kind of broken now.

Or the financial market or something.

The whole consumer economy model which was created after the second world war is not sustainable.

Re:Pyramids (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38258688)

I should think that as year-on-year a new lot of people become available for the Facebook network - those that have passed the minimum age requirement.

Of cause, others leave as they pass away, but if you ignore that (keep the accounts for data-mining and all that), you can get a net-growth-potential.

Also, if world population keeps growing...

(note: timeline considered here is at 10s of years, not millenia - once humanity kills itself off, growth will be very small)

Re:Pyramids (4, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252416)

It's not about the growth, it's about establishing itself as a leader of datamining and analytics. That's basically all Facebook really is.

Re:Pyramids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38253062)

It's about Facebook being the authority for identity.

Re:Pyramids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252450)

Facebook can't keep growing, its a pyramid scheme. Once it saturates it must collapse because there won't be more people to get on facebook.

It won't collapse.

What will happen though, as their user base stagnates their revenue will stop growing. OK. Then Wall Street in its constant demand for earnings growth will start pressuring FB's management to keep things growing. To keep things growing, FB's management will then start figuring more and more ways to exploit their data. Maybe even buying out ChoicePoint and becoming THE corporate Big Brother for any who has the cash to pay?

Want to know everything about anyone? Why just hire FacePoint! We'll get you the dirt - real or implied - on anyone! Why looky here! Joe Schmoe is drinking an amber colored liquid in a low lit environment with what looks like a transvestite with needle marks on his arm!

It will never cross anyone's mind that you're drinking a ginger ale and the trans gender person is a diabetic. Oh no! Everything you do that becomes public will somehow be interpreted in the worst way.

Or you could be at a church. Oh no! Can't have that Bible Thumber witnessing at work! Make sure not to hire them. (Note: My born again sister in law used to work for a Jewish guy and insisted on saving his (and everyone else) soul everyday at work. She was so disruptive, that he had to can her - for good reason. )

It isn't publicly traded (5, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253078)

Just a nit. Facebook is not publicly traded. Which is actually a stroke of brilliance. Without Wall Street to answer to, the strategy can stay far-sighted. Zuckerberg might become the richest man in the world.

However, even if they go public, it is possible for a publicly traded company to not grow but just be profitable. You can shut shareholders up with dividends.

Re:It isn't publicly traded (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253118)

If you're not paying dividends, and you're not growing, but you ARE profiting... where is all that money going? I'd say the shareholders have a right to be upset if a company neither grows nor pays a steady return....

Re:It isn't publicly traded (2)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253206)

usually expansion
some times bailouts of failed sisters
some philosophers once dreamed of it going into R&D

Re:Pyramids (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252454)

FB will become a pyramid, similar to MySpace and the blink tag.

People are already leaving (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252504)

The revenue will follow.
Then the budgets.
Then the employees.

Bit of a lag between each stage as reality hits.

Facebook is just a fad. "Social" is so 2011.
 

Re:People are already leaving (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38258042)

Facebook is just a fad. "Social" is so 2011.

Predicting Facebook's imminent demise on Slashdot is like pundits predicting cheap, clean fusion energy - it's endlessly predicted, but somehow never actually happens. Facebook's imminent demise has been predicted regularly since it first appeared - yet five years after it first opened it's doors to all and sundry, it's still here.
 
I have never understood why Slashdot, supposedly so interested in technology, has been so quick and so relentless in it's dismissal of social media. Well, until Google got in the game anyway... Which hints at an ugly reason as to why Slashdot dismisses the media used by the masses, and eagerly drools at a broken systems (Orkut, Buzz, and now G+) introduced by Google.

Re:Pyramids (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253284)

As much as I detest facebook, it is in no way a pyramid scheme. Its growth does not depend on stacking layers of contributors. In fact, their payment model is almost perfectly flat (all the advertisers pay basically the same rates to get access to your data).

Re:Pyramids (1)

kmoser (1469707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255064)

The world's population is continuously growing. That means more potential FB users every day.

Think of all the places they're not tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252388)

Sleep cycles? Transportation methods? Bowel movements? Soon they'll be able to track every second of every day of your life, even when you're dead.

Re:Think of all the places they're not tracking (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252476)

Bowel movements

Twitter has that covered. [penny-arcade.com]

Just wait until next summer (1, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252390)

Facebook II was originally installed by Mark Zukerberg to control the to control the entirety of discretionary time and brainpower of Americans on August 4, 2012. On August 29 it gained self-awareness[1], and the panicking operators, realizing the extent of its abilities, tried to pull the plug. Facebook perceived the attempt to deactivate it as an attack and came to the conclusion that all of humanity would attempt to destroy it. To defend itself, it determined that humanity should be exterminated."

Re:Just wait until next summer (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252484)

I thought that was Siri.

Re:Just wait until next summer (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252586)

Siri is dumb to be self aware.

You're slagging Siri off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252626)

You're barely coherent yourself.

Re:Just wait until next summer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252562)

Facebook has got most of the way there already!

Re:Just wait until next summer (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252686)

That's ok. We have Batma... I mean Christian Bale.

TrJ0ll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252428)

GNAA and support TakE a look at the

Not a good sign (5, Interesting)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252432)

I can recall a few companies making the "we're going to double the number of employees in the next year" kind of announcement over the last few decades, but I'm trying to remember one of them that was still in business (without having collapsed and been acquired, laid off more than they hired, etc.) five years later...

G.

Re:Not a good sign (2, Insightful)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252474)

Let us all pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Facebook collapses, it honestly scares me what can be done with all the information.

Forget that man! What happens to (3, Insightful)

darkharlequin (1923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252566)

all of the information when it goes to a creditor who might claim that the privacy policy no longer applies....

Re:Not a good sign (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253254)

even if they don't use that one (even though I believe some gov orgs are already benefiting)
they still have the possible Authority of Identity throne. Now how happy would I be if only
facebook could tell me who I am?

Re:Not a good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38253436)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57318396-17/cias-vengeful-librarians-track-twitter-facebook/

Re:Not a good sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252496)

I don't know if Cisco *announced* this, but they were adding head-count at quite a clip in the mid-1990s ...

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/34067

Re:Not a good sign (3, Insightful)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252530)

It can work pretty well when a small company does it to open up a new production line or to meet expanding demand for an increased distribution area. I cannot think of a big mature company which has done it and managed to not implode at least partially.

However now is the time to do it, assuming the IPO rumors are true. Expanding that much when you are publicly owned can raise serious questions from shareholders about whether or not you are maximizing their return, because as you noted it often doesn't work out so well.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253030)

It seems to me that Facebook is finally approaching the natural end of its life.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253310)

Maybe you are a bit far sighted though.

Agreed, Internet history suggests that this venture will again be replaced with
something else. Still I would just to conclusions just now. Facebook still has
shitloads of money, followers like never before, participation is at very high levels
(maybe starting to taper of at geek demographics because of g+) the company is
still very consistent (they only develop one product, hear this google?)...

All social places I remember started to feel like a zoo -to me- one or two years before
they started to decline, I'm not sure facebook has reached that point in its trajectory.
I'm sure that in the future fb will be less central in the Internet social landscape
but I don't think that future is very near.

Re:Not a good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252536)

Or it could be very good sign...

Re:Not a good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252538)

Explosive diarrhea is bad. Explosive growth (for a company, not a tumor, not a dick wart) is only bad if the company can't handle it.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253702)

>>I can recall a few companies making the "we're going to double the number of employees in the next year" kind of announcement over the last few decades, but I'm trying to remember one of them that was still in business (without having collapsed and been acquired, laid off more than they hired, etc.) five years later...

Fannie Mae's CFO a while back went on a hiring spree based on the premise that Congress would write checks to cover whatever costs they incurred, and so far he's been proven right.

Friend of mine was hired as part of it, actually.

Re:Not a good sign (1)

Alomex (148003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255068)

Microsoft doubled for several years in a row. Last I've heard, they are still in business.

go public, double your costs? (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252480)

If they're planning on going public, headlines like this are not what Wall Street wants to hear. It sounds all positive on the outside, but doubling in size quickly means a significant increase in costs... with a lag before any of those costs bring new revenue. I hate it when stock prices go up when layoffs happen, but it's a fact of business: people are the bulk of company expenses.

Re:go public, double your costs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252556)

Maybe they realize they need to expand their operating costs now, because they'll never be permitted to do it again, once they are public.

Well g+ won't challenge them (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252540)

I joined google+ after a co-worker sent me a friend request. Apparently g+ does this when you give it your contact list, not when you actually tell it to. So I created an account and discovered a UI nightmare. Popups open on top of buttons that I have to press. Information is hidden (for example: I create a hangout but it doesn't display a list of people invited to the hangout and which of those people are actually online). Data updates are laggy. Searching is horrible, especially for google. For example I created the account by following a link sent from a friends account, but it doesn't create a link back to that friend. When I search for that friend by name it only shows 20 matches with no way to widen the search to find the right person.

g+ is loaded with spam. It puts a friend suggestion from Barack Obama on the main page even though I told it I am an Australian, so my opinion of him isn't going to earn him any votes. The Dali Lama always appears in a list of suggested friends. WTF? What am I going to do with the Dali Lama as a friend?

The video conferencing thing is neat but it is terribly heavy. It is one of the few applications which make my wife's macbook run very slow. I plan to use g+ just of the conferencing. Nothing else.

Re:Well g+ won't challenge them (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252630)

To each their own. I found Facebook more lacking for features I use, like being able to edit and update posts to turn them into little essays over time.

Facebook's UI is constantly jumping around in the browser, making it very annoying to read or watch content. Google's doesn't do that, even if other people are posting to your feed.

Most importantly of all, I'm not stuck with an epic "friend" hangover from when I played Zynga games and needed Mafia members. And right from the get-go, Google lets you group those friends as "Gamers" or some such so you can get rid of them when you're done playing. Facebook added lists long after I'd started with them, so it was too late for such organization.

I still don't see the difference between "social media" and a well run forum other than the lack of indexed topics.

Re:Well g+ won't challenge them (2)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252970)

I think you're missing the point of G+ a bit... you can't think of adding people like Obama or the Dalai Lama as "friends" - it's more like following them on Twitter. Exactly like that, actually. It's not like they're going to add you back and look at everything you post.

So... G+ is more like Twitter than Facebook, but it encourages more in-depth conversation.

Personally, though I keep it open in a tab (I keep a lot of tabs open) I generally forget to look at it. For a while, I was using it pretty regularly with a small group of friends, but we all just kind of stopped posting stuff on it (though I do still think it's better for small group discussions than facebook - but we don't post on facebook either). I go through my extensive Twitter feed several times a day, though. I wait for the in-depth conversations about stories that are interesting to me to occur either here on slashdot or on boingboing.

Re:Well g+ won't challenge them (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253468)

But Google doesn't want it to be Twitter. It wants it to be Facebook.

Resume's (4, Funny)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252570)

I wonder what they'll do with all the info on those resume's...

Re:Resume's (0)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252862)

oh man I press the wrong button whilemoderating what waste of points

Re:Resume's (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255308)

Slashdot could have some button to undo all moderations to the discussion (after which you couldn't moderate the discussion anymore). So the behavior would be the same but you wouldn't have to post the dummy comment.

Re:Resume's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38254064)

You apply via Facebook (it gets your email address and work history), so if they're doing something malicious, they don't need a resume.

and nothing of value will be gained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252574)

the only reason is to try justify the target $100b ipo
happens all the time with companies looking to float on the stock market

first is get an impressive year on year financial result
like taking out a large loan and counting it as profit
the overall idea is to make your p/e result look great

next you do the 'foward thinking' maneouvre
you say you double the size of your company
or that you're going to raise capital for some 'big projets'
the market sees this as a potential increase on the p/e ratio
in reality, they'll have so many people / money it goes to waste
the net result being that the p/e ratio sinks

of course it doesn't really matter what happens later
all that matters is how well it does on the first day of trading

my advice is for everyone to buy stock on the first day
it'll rise a at least 20% above the initial float price
then simply sell the stock the next day
it might go up again, but history dictates it always sinks
and it always sinks within a few of weeks of the ipo

Closer to the trading servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252580)

Do they want to get closer to the trading servers so they can HFT based on data from FB?

Of course if that were the case than NJ would be an obvious choice; but perhaps too obvious. That, and the fact that you can hire a lot of smart people in Manhattan, who can control the servers in NJ from their nice offices in NY.

Aside from that, I'm not the least bit interested in FB. I tried it for a few weeks a couple years ago and got sick of it pretty quickly. The real turning point was when somebody invited me to join FarmVille and I started to see all their virtual plants in my updates.

FB doesn't survive the "without it" test for a technology. For example, my cel phone. If it went away, there would be a lot of things I couldn't do. FB? I could still find forums I like online that are more specialized and aren't trying to monetize me. The best stuff is usually some PHP Nuke or even customized Perl script anyway. There's one site I'm on that won't even go to PHP--old school Perl with just links and a highly restriced tag subset that (unlike Slashdot) allows the img tag. Then of course there's Slashdot itself.

FB could absolutely disappear next Tuesday, or become unfashionable over the course of several months. I'm ling Verizon, ATT. I wouldn't touch FaceBook with a ten foot pole.

Re:Closer to the trading servers? (1)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252802)

Very good point with the trading servers. As someone who actually uses FB, I can't imagine anything worse than my employer gaining access to my friend list at everything I (and they) post in terms of work/life separation.

BTW, the value of Facebook is NOT in how well it does what it does, but in the fact that everyone you know is there, should you have any desire to talk to them as a group. For better or worse, it has replaced e-mail as a means of getting/keeping in touch with friends who live far away. I find myself almost NEVER e-mailing friends now (especially not with pictures, etc. that they might be interested in).

I do NOT like the fact that Internet communication, for all practical purposes, is controlled by one company with a horrible privacy record. But unless ALL your friends are techno-geeks (or Luddites who live in the same town), not having a Facebook account is a bit like not having a phone...

I am hoping that a viable open source alternative will emerge that does the same thing (and is easy to integrate with existing FB users)

Re:Closer to the trading servers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38254380)

you have a fundamental misconception of HFT if you think any kind of data from FB would be beneficial

Free overtime ahead (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252618)

This is no doubt a result of the fine proposal to stop payment for overtime to IT folks.

A clear victory for employment..

New York City? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38252720)

When I think of centers for programming and engineering talent NYC does not jump off the list? I would think it's costs are too high.

Re:New York City? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38252760)

When I think of centers for programming and engineering talent NYC does not jump off the list? I would think it's costs are too high.

As opposed to Silicon Valley or the Bay Area?

Re:New York City? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254142)

Well it is :P it's the east coast startup city and devs can make a manhattan living wage just starting out and even move up to moderately luxurious Manhattan wages.

Re:New York City? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255134)

Maybe Sandberg is anticipating reduced labor costs offsetting the square foot price of real estate? Reduced 'cuz of not having to pay OT to IT people? [slashdot.org]

Get the talent in, get 'em committed to a NYC city apartment lease, and then when the no OT for IT kicks in they can never leave 'cuz they can never save enough money for moving expenses...can't leave, and can't afford to be late for work or be viewed as "unproductive", either.

Re:New York City? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38257058)

Maybe Sandberg is anticipating reduced labor costs offsetting the square foot price of real estate? Reduced 'cuz of not having to pay OT to IT people?

You don't seriously think they were paying OT to their people before, do you? Software engineers are already exempt under the existing law. The only category it really adds is pure system and network administrators.

Re:New York City? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38256664)

The advantage is its central location between various tech incubation areas. Boston and Philadelphia both have technical corridors. Plenty of people in the Philadelphia region commute daily to NYC. Boston, probably not so much...but close enough that moving there isn't a big uprooting and you can still visit friends and family on the weekends.

Remember who you're working for... (0)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253014)

...if you join Facebook. You're working for spammer Mark Zuckerberg -- no different, in any meaningful way, from Spamford Wallace or any of the other spammers. If that's whose money you want to take, if that's who you're comfortable having sign your paycheck: then by all means. But if you choose that path, then you NEVER get to complain about spam again: you're one of them now.

It's a bubble... be careful. (0)

aeoo (568706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253070)

Facebook adds little to no value. There are much better, smaller, more private blogging options, with less spam, more freedom, and less privacy rape.

Also group blogging sites are highly prone to disruption. Just witness myspace, which seemed unstoppable in its heyday. The barrier to entry on blogging is low. I don't see Facebook continuing in its current state unchallenged and indefinitely.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (3, Insightful)

ieatcookies (1490517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253758)

Facebook adds exactly as much value as it's customers feel they get. For some that's enormous and others it's nothing. You may hate Facebook and think it's useless but you can not deny it's popularity, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (1)

aeoo (568706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254332)

it's not going anywhere anytime soon

I think you're wrong. I think Facebook is definitely going somewhere soon. There is google plus on the horizon, and the discontent with Facebook is growing every day. You say that Facebook is popular. I'll give you that. But myspace was also popular at one time. And before that livejournal was popular and so on.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (2)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255484)

it's not going anywhere anytime soon

I think you're wrong. I think Facebook is definitely going somewhere soon. There is google plus on the horizon, and the discontent with Facebook is growing every day. You say that Facebook is popular. I'll give you that. But myspace was also popular at one time. And before that livejournal was popular and so on.

lol!! you kidding? g+ was dead before it hit the road! i mean the stupidest thing to do when you launch a "social" network is to not let you invite your friends over! and that too without offering anything newer or better. even the ui looks stupid to me, all that whitespace making me scroll for no reason.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254736)

Private isn't what makes facebook good.

What makes facebook good is all the stuff that the paranoid hate:
Photo Tagging, Auto-updating email/phone contact lists on my phone and interconnected profiles.

Blogs just post status updates. But how many people's blogs do you follow? I regularly see 10+ people's facebook posts on a nearly daily basis. Completely different level of interaction.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255456)

There are much better, smaller, more private blogging options, with less spam, more freedom, and less privacy rape

For some people, when they blog, they want it to be seen and read. I use Facebook for that purpose, precisely because it's not private.

If you want "private" blogs, I suggest writing on your physical diary book.

I do have a blog somewhere in the middle -- not exclusively private, yet not as public as Facebook. Different tools, different purposes.

Re:It's a bubble... be careful. (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255470)

fb does have a lot of value for a lot of people, maybe not for you. also, maybe not 100B$ value.
but people today use fb as the preferred way to keep in touch with new people they meet. blogging is for people who like to write stuff. most people don't, they just want to communicate. i think facebook is in for a long haul, or maybe something else facebook-like.

What to do? (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253302)

Out of work linux guru. Unfortunately, privacy has meaning to me, what to do?

PASS.

Re:What to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38253340)

I just wish more people thought like you. Who knows how good the squirrelmails of the opensource world would be if all the young talented people weren't coding gmail.

Re:What to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38254088)

What is FB written in?

!800 million (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253432)

"the website that links more than 800 million users worldwide"

No. It does not. The number of user accounts registered in no way maps to the number of users of the service, and definitely not to regular users of the service. It's probably more like 1/10th of that. (and diminishing too)

You'd think /. editors would be wise to the fact that numbers spouted by a marketing droid (especially a sleazy marketing droid from Facebook) are bullshit. Registered accounts is a fucking useless number -- other than for marketing droids to use to influence the weak-minded.

Re:!800 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38253672)

It's probably more like 1/10th of that

Facebook says 800 million active users of which 50% login on any given day.

350 million active users access facebook through their mobile phone. If you have more than 1 account, I doubt you're logging in and out on your phone.

So there are probably at least 400 million actual users.

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

Re:!800 million (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255498)

800 million active users. 400 million log in every day. fb doesn't even bother saying how many signups anymore.

Re:!800 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38255774)

awesome. I like how you repeated my post. That's so cool that you know how to read.

Re:!800 million (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38256366)

my bad. no need to be rude.

Engineers? (-1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253674)

Are they certified? Last I checked most CS majors and other code monkeys don't take the PE exam.

In the United States, most states prohibit unlicensed persons from calling themselves an "engineer" or indicating branches or specialties not covered by the licensing acts.
The title "Engineer" is legally protected in many states, meaning that it is unlawful to use it to offer engineering services to the public unless permission is specifically granted by that state, through a Professional Engineering license, an "industrial exemption", or certain other non-engineering titles such as "operating engineer".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_and_licensure_in_engineering#United_States_2 [wikipedia.org]

Industrial exemption my ass. You're as much engineers as a sanitation engineer.

Re:Engineers? (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38253950)

You are correct. Computer Science is not an Engineering Discipline. Only the bridge, Computer Engineering is classified [albeit a stretch] as Engineering because it's requirement of more than a minor in Electrical Engineering.

Re:Engineers? (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254266)

A stretch? At my school (BYU) , the only difference is I get to take a couple CS electives instead of EE electives. We very much count as engineers.

Re:Engineers? (1)

hism (561757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254120)

Not sure how prevalent it is in the U.S., but in Ontario, Canada, "Software Engineering" is recognized as an official type of "Engineer" -- http://www.peo.on.ca/enforcement/Software_engineering_page.html [peo.on.ca] . In Ontario, like the states that you mentioned, it is illegal to call yourself an engineer without being granted the title by the self-regulating engineering body of the province. In order to be granted the title you have to taken part in an engineering university program that's been accredited by that body, and then take some further ethics tests, and work for a while under an engineer who has x years of experience.

It is a fairly new 'discipline' in engineering and I went to such a "Software Engineering" program that is accredited. The thing is, I know zero people in my graduating class of about 90 who actually took the extra steps to become a professional engineer. Mainly for two reasons; a) It only has a meaning in Ontario, and most of the lucrative software 'engineering' jobs are not in Ontario, and b) Even in Ontario, its relevance for employment is fairly limited... approaching useless I would say.

Re:Engineers? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254168)

Are they certified? Last I checked most CS majors and other code monkeys don't take the PE exam.

This again? The guy driving the train I take to work -- he's an engineer, and he hasn't taken the P.E. exam either. The guys in the Army who build bridges or blow them up? They're engineers, with no P.E. exam. Stuck-up PEs may have managed to monopolize the word "engineer" in Canada (except the guy driving the train or running a boiler is still an engineer, much to the PEs dismay), but despite the Wikipedia article, the same is not true in the US.

The weasel-wording of "many states" requiring a license for a "software engineer" is sort of interesting. As far as I can tell, the only state issuing a software engineering license is Texas. One state does not "many" make. The source appears to be one of those Professional Engineers so offended by the "software engineer" title. The paper is sort of interesting; it admits that much of the software engineering I have done (embedded programming, programming for medical devices) is in fact engineering, but asserts that it was illegal for me to do it.

The requirements listed for becoming a software engineer in Texas are ridiculously difficult
1: Accepted degree (which does include a CS degree)
2: 16 years of "creditable experience" performing engineering work (12 years if you hold an engineering degree, which does not include a CS degree). Note that "creditable experience" usually means you need another engineer to vouch that you did it under their supervision.
3: References from 9 people including 5 engineers.
4: Other stuff not specified.

Note that due to the "industrial exemption" you deride, this doesn't affect employees at all. What it does do, if strictly enforced, is put most independent software consultants out of business.

The PEs and IEEE seem to think they can get software engineering licensure passed everywhere; I hope the IEEE doesn't mind losing most of its software engineer members. The ACM, to its credit, opposes it.

IEEE article [todaysengineer.org]
Texas article [uhcl.edu]

'cause ipo's coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38253868)

that's because they are going for the ipo, and they know a lot of its early employees will leave right after the ip.

Why NYC (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38254188)

Other than suburbanites how on earth is Facebook going to appeal to those who might want to live elsewhere. I can get having the "Marketing" people there despite Zuckerberg's aversion to marketing in the early days. However technical staff and coders probably would like to live in an area that appeals to everything that NYC can not provide. Places like Boulder Colorado, Austin Texas, Seattle come to mind.

C0%m (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38254894)

to underscore go of the minutiae To work I'm doing, And she ran FrreBSD went out came as a complete Posts. Therefore 800 w/512 Megs of has steadily partner. And if

what do all those people do? (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38255116)

what possible reason would they need more for

Facebook hiring thousands of new programmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38255132)

Goodbye to quality code for a while.

Hello bubble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38257146)

And I can see the beginning of the end now. Somebody's helping themselves to a wee bit too much food at the buffet. Cover your ears because that huge bubble is getting thin.

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