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Facebook Expected To Go Public Next Week

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the lotta-new-millionaires dept.

Facebook 192

First time accepted submitter foozie writes "Many credible sources, including Forbes and CBS, say that Facebook will finally IPO next week, raising about $10 billion and valuating at $75 billion, almost three times the valuation of Google at the point of their IPO in 2004. This shift raises questions about how the new ownership will affect the company's ability to innovate and remain on the forefront of social media."

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Innovate? (5, Insightful)

tidepool (137349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856697)

Innovate? I think we're already past that with Facebook, no?

If you're looking for innovation, personally, I'd look elsewhere -- Way past the social-network situation that we see graying at a rapid rate.

Re:Innovate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856759)

Oh oh ... Farmvile?

IPO of Net ventures (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857179)

It's a sucker game, actually

Back in the 1980's when Al Gore proclaimed the "Information Super Highway" there had been more hype than everything else combined

There were so many example of Net venture wasted all the money being pumped into them, and yet, the financial world never learn

Take search engines for example

The was Altavista, and people was like goo-goo and gaa-gaa all over it

Then Yahoo came along, and the goo-goo gaa-gaa people flocked to it

When Google arrived, Yahoo withered

Take "community", for example

There was "The-Well", AOL, tripod, whathaveyous

How many of them are still left, today?

How many BILLIONS have they wasted?

I do not have a crystal ball, but I can tell you that FB will be just like any of the above-mentioned, and the billions pumped into it would be wasted

I can't remember how much $$$

Re:IPO of Net ventures (5, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857391)

There were so many example of Net venture wasted all the money being pumped into them, and yet, the financial world never learn

In this case it's even worse. Think about it: What's the point of an IPO? It's so that a company can raise money, to fund expansion or revitalize the company.

So, does Facebook need money to expand? No, they're undoubtedly sitting on a mountain of cash already. They're not a little company that needs capital to expand, and they're not a big company with aging plant and equipment that needs a capital infusion to get with the times.

The reason for the IPO is obviously so that the existing owners can cash out.

Re:IPO of Net ventures (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857607)

They aren't sitting on a mountain of earned money, if thats what you are thinking. They simply do not have the profits or revenue to justify their valuation. It will be very interesting to see their IPO prospectus to see if they can even imagineer a credible plan to acheive revenue/profits. Tech IPOs are a suckers game. They are structured to gives VCs, founders, early investors, and well connected investors their 10-100x investment bang and perhaps another round or two get a few % gain out of the suckers. That is all.

Re:IPO of Net ventures (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857969)

You're missing an important one, and the one that eventually caught up to microsoft. If you're using stock options as a form of compensation you eventually have to go public, because the company cannot have more than some number of shareholders and be considered private.

Facebook may need to expand, a lot. Who knows what their plan is? They may need a massive infrastructure investment to support higher bandwidth in system applications (videos, 3d games, who knows), and they may need a massive investment to hire a large number of staff to start running revenue generating activities, along with a building full of lawyers to go with it all (advertising sales teams mostly). If they're serious about making facebook into a platform rather than just a webpage there's a lot of time and money that could be thrown into basically writing a giant web OS.

But Facebook faces a lot of fundamental problems. First off, if they have a billion users a 75 billion dollar IP values each user at 75 dollars. That's... absurd (admittedly, not 75/year, but even at 7.5/year you're pushing your luck, that requires a lot of suckers giving you 75/year for each user who contributes nothing). Right now they sell facebook points, which is all well and good, but 3rd parties take I think 70% of that. So again, you need to be moving a LOT of money per user.

So how else do you get money? Well advertising. And again, what is a user worth on facebook to an advertiser? My Facebook experience is going to be different than in the US, because they feed different ads to canada, but right now the ads they feed me are for very sketchy (not necessarily illegal, just not really serious big businesses). Valuing a facebook user might be like trying to value television viewers, but 10x harder.

Or you can sell your data to companies. Which is where this whole thing starts to fall apart fast. Facebook is now big enough that they're going to get buried in Laws from every country in the world (see the Twitter story that just got to the front page for another example). Some of those rules are going to be 'no selling data, anonymized or not, without explicit consent' and suddenly your whole revenue stream is first a legal quagmire, and second very very limited. And laws may be written about targeted ads (see previous paragraph), ads to under 13's and compliance...

So yes, the existing owners want to cash out, and I'm sure a lot of them are looking to jump ship ASAP. But google started as just a search engine, and now they have more products than I can keep track of and billions in revenue (and profits), so you never know. I would not be surprised if Facebook has a lot of thought going into what their future will look like and the manpower and infrastructure to support that gets expensive fast (when you're funded by private capital anyway).

Re:IPO of Net ventures (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858203)

They also have to raise the money to pay off the private investors.

Re:IPO of Net ventures (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857513)

I do not have a crystal ball [...] I can't remember how much $$$

I love it! I, too, tend to rarely remember the past or the future. But I do have a growing rule set; getting old isn't all that bad.

Facebook Innovation? (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856803)

I am having trouble remember what innovation we ever actually saw out of Facebook. I vaguely recall that they contributed some patches to a few open source projects, and I thought that they had done some research on distributed computing but I cannot seem to find that paper. Perhaps "past that" should be "never saw that?"

Re:Facebook Innovation? (2, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856857)

They created a social network that, for some reason, people tought was better than the alternatives. That is called inovation.

Now, you can say they stopped inovating. As a consequence, they must have also stopped improving.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856883)

That is a pretty poor measure of innovation, since it basically defines innovation by popularity. Maybe Facebook was marketed better than its competitors; would consider that to be "innovative?"

Re:Facebook Innovation? (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856979)

Sure it is, just ask Apple.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857253)

That is a pretty poor measure of innovation, since it basically defines innovation by popularity.

There are endless innovations that couldn't be monetized and were accordingly never became popular or useful.

Facebook doesn't have much more room to innovate, unless you consider further monetization to be innovation.
Sure, they'll keep tweaking the site design, but feature wise, they've already got the kitchen sink.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857771)

Yeah, we know, it's only innovation if it's open source. Right?

Re:Facebook Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857883)

That is a pretty poor measure of innovation, since it basically defines innovation by popularity. Maybe Facebook was marketed better than its competitors; would consider that to be "innovative?"

Well, it is the Apple measure of innvation, that many seem to accept. Making a new version of something existing that is much more appealing to users than old alternatives.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (4, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857265)

The only reason Facebook was better was because MySpace was its only competition. I mean, a virus laden social media platform that you could customize with terrible backgrounds, fonts, oh.. and music embeds vs friendly banter messages and drunken photos.
The world has spoken, and the world said "noobs shouldnt mess with html!"

Re:Facebook Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857721)

I hadn't heard that neologism "inovation", but it is good to know what Facebook is called.

It is not, however, innovation.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856865)

Just because they didn't open source their work does not meen they have not innovated. Maybe they want to profit from their work instead of just giving away their time and effort for someone else to profit from.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856987)

wha? open source isn't even a question, nor is it related to the situation.

The answer is: facebook didn't innovate at all, they simply had the most popular site by method of exclusivity before they went public. That's it.

that's not "wow! amazing!", it's more a stroke of luck. Their dealings with zynga and microsoft (who surely is positioned to profit from the IPO) highlight that facebook otherwise has no idea what they're doing aside from trying to sell every user's information in every way possible.

Re:Facebook Innovation? (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857133)

You pretty much summed it up. I fear that Facebook is a one-trick pony. "And now, for our next act... uh... hm... where's that card..." What more can they realistically do, other than poach internet services from competitors like Google?

Facebook messaging is encroaching on email turf, but I doubt it will ever replace an independent email service; no one trusts them, and it's unrealistic to force all your email recipients to join Facebook; this was AOL's downfall as well.

The comparisons with AOL are accurate and portend future trouble for Facebook. The broader, out-of-control Internet has a way of bypassing closed systems with ever more flexible and innovative alternatives.

Sooner or later, someone will think of something even easier and more convenient to use than FB, and FB will begin to lose its relevance. I have no idea what; it could be some sort of mobile-to-mobile chat and messaging paradigm that bypasses the website-based interfaces like FB's, or maybe a return to basics because of social network fatigue.

Personally, I've grown tired of FB after using it somewhat extensively for a year or two. It's been a great way to get back in touch with old classmates and the like, but the novelty's worn off and I now find it tiresome to sit down at a computer, bring up facebook.com, and read some oh-so-clever status messages from people who should be working or reading or (God forbid) exercising :)

Re:Facebook Innovation? (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857909)

The $75bn valuation is based on the *idea* that FB will become a better advertising platform than Google. Because so many people from all walks of life spend time on FB, the logic goes, it will make a perfect platform for advertising and selling anything.

But in reality when people are FB they are drug addicts looking to score. The drug is stimulation -- in the form of their friends' gossip, funny photos, maybe even a post from a fan page if it's really super interesting, anything to break the boredom or make you forget about hard stuff. I'm speaking from own experience and that of close friends. Anything that is not stimulating is not welcome -- and that includes ads for the majority of products and services out there. By contrast, when you want to buy bicycle tires you go to Google with the intention of buying them, so it's a different mindset, one where good ads are actually welcome. Drug addicts do spend money on drugs though, so FB will be a great platform to sell Zynga games, music, digital goods that offer instant gratification and the like. But that is all.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/02/01/four-keys-to-facebooks-valuation/ [forbes.com]

Is the market for selling digital crack worth $75bn? I hope not.

Re:Innovate? (4, Interesting)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856961)

We should have.... but Facebook did something what WWW couldn't and that is that every person has a own "website" where they have their contact information, photos, journals and so on.

The 90's boom for WWW was that everyone would have a own website.
It did not succeed as now WWW is primarily only used by corporations and teams (projects etc) but the normal people are far away from WWW idea to have homepages.

Facebook is the "homepage 2.0".

Is it innovative? No.... but is it something? Yes.

To get innovation back to people, from corporations for sake of security. We should have easy way to get normal people to make own pages, for their chosen server provider with small fee (like 1-2 euros a month for 1GB storage).

It should be easy as just drop a package to directory and then open site with editor and drag'n'drop images, resize tables and banners, place input boxes and link to existing data just by drag'n'drop way and automatic galleries with directory hierarchy.

But even today, almost after decade of CMS's and others... It is still too difficult to make a own website. So people love facebook or Google+.

Re:Innovate? (3, Insightful)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857029)

I believe live journal, MySpace, geocities, tripod, etc all beat Facebook to your so called innovating by providing people with their own "web page".

Please try again

Re:Innovate? (5, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857277)

I believe live journal, MySpace, geocities, tripod, etc all beat Facebook to your so called innovating by providing people with their own "web page".

Yes, a webpage that 5 people saw. Blogs made it possible for ordinary persons to have 12 to 20 people see their webpage. Facebook users typically have 50 to 500 "friends" who are forced to see updates about their cats, or the latest shared "image that is really only text" bit of wisdom. More importantly, it created networks with all their personal information available to the platform, and most importantly, Facebook figured out how to get people to give them this information for free. Some even pay for it, by purchasing game credits.

Facebook is different, and is the "necessary evil" of the month if you want to catch up with old friends from high school, etc. Other than conversation and "free" games that are designed from the ground up to be addictive, it offers very little to the user, but it offers tremendous value to the advertiser. Five years from now, Facebook will still be here. Likely worth a tiny fraction of the 75B that is laughably being touted, but it will be here.

Google brought advertisers millions of people. Facebook tells the advertisers where they live, what they like, and who their friends are. The problem of course is that everyone goes to Google when they are looking to buy something, not Facebook.

Re:Innovate? (3, Informative)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858141)

GeoCities had many very high traffic user sites on it. Just because your world revolves around Facebook, it doesn't mean every other person's Internet use is that shallow.

Also, if I want to catch up with old friends, I'll call them.

Re:Innovate? (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858227)

Likely worth a tiny fraction of the 75B that is laughably being touted, but it will be here.

I don't know why people here are so skeptical of Facebook's market value as a company. Most people spend more time on Facebook than they do on Google. Facebook has a lot more and a lot accurate data than Google has on their users. If Google can become so huge just by selling ads on their websites, why can't Facebook be at least as big as them?

Re:Innovate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858055)

Please quote me where I said Facebook was innovating?

Re:Innovate? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857149)

Given how they've just made the single biggest change [facebook.com] to their interface since the launch of Facebook I'm wondering just what you define as innovating? They've just done a complete re-think of how they tell the story of a person's life through a profile page.

Re:Innovate? (3, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857543)

I don't know what the GP defines as innovation, but change certainly isn't inherently innovative. You can make a lot changes that make an interface worse... like the timeline, which on investigation appears to me to be a jumbled mess with no real thought put into its layout.

Re:Innovate? (2)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857661)

I don't go to Facebook to see someone's whole life. I go to see their current status.

Really? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856699)

This shift raises questions about how the new ownership will affect the company's ability to innovate and remain on the forefront of social media

Yes, that's exactly what I thought. Well, actually what I thought was 'I wonder how much money the investors in the Goldman Sachs Facebook fund will make out of this bubble,' but your version sounds better.

Re:Really? (4, Interesting)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856871)

My thoughts were more aking to: "They didn't sell the company yet? What are they thinking? That they have a sustainable business?"

Where's the numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857053)

I mean they plan to IPO next week, yet where's the books? Who bought those Goldman Sachs shares? Who at the SEC decided that these 'non-shares' that Goldman's wanted to sell were garbage enough not to be sold in the USA, but somehow could be sold outside the USA?

So will this shadowy group of Goldman's customers now manipulate the IPO?

Re:Where's the numbers? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857079)

Who bought those Goldman Sachs shares?

This is private information, so won't be disclosed. The public filing will just say that GS owns 10% (or whatever) of the company. The people who own the shares in the fund do not have to be disclosed.

Who at the SEC decided that these 'non-shares' that Goldman's wanted to sell were garbage enough not to be sold in the USA, but somehow could be sold outside the USA?

My understanding is that nobody did. Someone at GS decided that not selling them in the USA let them avoid the need to bother with SEC approval.

So will this shadowy group of Goldman's customers now manipulate the IPO?

Possibly, although I suspect that the IPO means that GS has decided that the bubble is now over. They hyped the shares, sold them to their preferred customers (at a big profit) hyped them some more, got their customers to sell them to other people, and now they have no further interest in Facebook. It can go public, people can review its books, and it could file for chapter 11 next week for all GS cares. They've moved onto the next bubble.

Good news everyone; It's going to DIE! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857201)

It's the beginning of the end for facebook. I know people have been predicting that forever, but now it's as certain as the pull of gravity.
Once it's gone public, the pressure to maximize short term profits will force their hand, and really put the screw on the user.

Internal bureaucracy, not innovation is dominant for a company at this stage of its life, and totally dependent on the network effect (must remain above critical mass or else).
Facebook is going to be torn apart by tidal forces, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. /popcorn

"company's ability to innovate"? (5, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856709)

Since when has Facebook innovated since its creation?
shifting around the GUI elements every few months is NOT innovation.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856763)

Facebook does quite a lot of research in data mining. You probably don't see it because you're their product, not their customer.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856823)

Is there proof of this? I thought I remembered Facebook researchers publishing a paper somewhere, but now I cannot seem to find it. Maybe everything is being done in secret, but then how would we ever know if they are innovating or just copying innovators?

The opposite of insightful is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857365)

Doesn't the fact that someone parrots this in every single story about Facebook / Google / any advertising based company make it decidedly LESS insightful?
Yes it's pithy, and panders to the mods, but I always felt it grossly simplified the love triangle between these companies, their advertising customers, and their users.

How about something recent about the company. What's the velocity of new signups. Maybe a critique on how Facebook features have shifted over time to being increasingly self-serving. How satisfied are users right now? Is facebook overplaying it's hand without Google's amazing PR, and appearing too corporate? If so, they'll be dumped as uncool by avant garde seeking younger users.

Sorry to rip on you, but you only said this because you had NOTHING new to add, and maybe for the +5 insightful.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856779)

Innovation in social networks will involve the shifting from company held servers to a distrusted social network via IPv6 and router/modem/firewall/web server/mail server/file server in the residential environment

The social network company providing the links between like minded people, backups and redundant services for blackouts.

So greater personal control and privacy, with access to your files from your hardware and shared access that you specifically have control over.

As Facebook aren't into hardware or software they are screwed. This is a battle between Google, Apple and M$. Then new distributed social network portal who gain the lead first.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (0)

tidepool (137349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856815)

Innovation in social networks will involve the shifting from company held servers to a distrusted social network via IPv6 and router/modem/firewall/web server/mail server/file server in the residential environment

The social network company providing the links between like minded people, backups and redundant services for blackouts.

You know, I agree with this to a massive extent. I would however like to see it on a 'large local' scale, ie. 'City' wide, Town wide, Burrough-wide.

I imagine something like this, but running over a town-wide MESH network, being an absolutely positive force in that of a moderate sized community. Actually bringing people together, that live in a 10 (or whatever) mile radius. A scaled back internet, a scaled back 'social network', where the social aspect is a given, because the people involved are the people you see when you grocery shop; When you get gas; When you walk your dog.

Scale it back; Decentralize it. Make it work for US, the general person.

A man can dream, right?

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (2)

tidepool (137349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856845)

Innovation in social networks will involve the shifting from company held servers to a distrusted social network via IPv6 and router/modem/firewall/web server/mail server/file server in the residential environment

The social network company providing the links between like minded people, backups and redundant services for blackouts.

So greater personal control and privacy, with access to your files from your hardware and shared access that you specifically have control over.

As Facebook aren't into hardware or software they are screwed. This is a battle between Google, Apple and M$. Then new distributed social network portal who gain the lead first.

You know, I agree with this to a massive extent. I would however like to see it on a 'large local' scale, ie. 'City' wide, Town wide, Burrough-wide.

I imagine something like this, but running over a town-wide MESH network, being an absolutely positive force in that of a moderate sized community. Actually bringing people together, that live in a 10 (or whatever) mile radius. A scaled back internet, a scaled back 'social network', where the social aspect is a given, because the people involved are the people you see when you grocery shop; When you get gas; When you walk your dog.

Scale it back; Decentralize it. Make it work for US, the general person.

A man can dream, right?

(Sorry, double post, my first post was completely mis-quoted.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (2)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857083)

I'd have to ask, why? A distributed model could be useful for load sharing (hosting files and such like) and for failover, yet for those to be of much there'd have to be some way of sharing the data across the network - same for the idea of the company providing backups and redundant services. Wouldn't this set-up undermine the notion of greater control and privacy?

Security and privacy may in fact suffer if the system is reliant on each user securing their own systems. The main advantage I can see of a decentralized system would be in terms of not being reliant on a company to keep the lights on. Overall though it seems to be a step backwards, to the era when people ran their own web and mail servers from home. It's fun for the more geeky types, yet not really something that the average social networks user is likely to want. I'm pretty geeky, and I appreciate the simplicity of Facebook - particularly the way in which it's made communication with less technical relatives far easier. I have decent enough privacy settings there, and I don't see how a distributed network would make much of a difference. Either way, the data are going to be flying around, and with both approaches, I can choose what I want to make public. Facebook are bound by data protection laws, although there'd be no harm in the US tightening things up a bit.

Apple and MS could try to get in to this market, but it'll be a tough fight. Ping, despite being tied in to the most popular legal downloads system, has hardly been a roaring success.

Regardless of Facebook's perceived hardware and software shortcomings, they have an amazing amount of momentum and social lock-in. A competitor is going to have to do something good to make a dent in that. I walk around town, and I see signs on a lot of businesses now inviting patrons to follow them on Facebook. This is pretty serious name recognition for an online service. Twitter too is big in this area.

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (3, Interesting)

tukang (1209392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857235)

They wrote a php to c++ source code transformer - https://github.com/facebook/hiphop-php [github.com]

Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857297)

I suppose that counts as innovation...if you ignore the fact that people have been doing it for decades:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-to-source_compiler [wikipedia.org]

BUT BUT BUT IT IS SO ORIGINAL, THEY DID IT WITH PHP AND C++ UNLIKE ALL THE OTHER ONES OUT THERE!

Facebook's made mySQL "scale" better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857629)

https://www.facebook.com/events/232436933489216/ [facebook.com]

They've enhanced mySQL's ability to 'scale' better!

(No, I can't recall the specifics but iirc, it had SOMETHING TO DO with putting addons onto mySQL (HBase? Not familiar with THAT exactly here).... but they are in that search result above I am fairly certain, so it can "scale" better over FAR more users than it can by default...)

* Now, THAT's something... & it is innovation.

APK

P.S.=> I also heard to enhance that further, they "busted up" their data across many more DB devices as well (9.10 times, processing smaller sets that end up adding up to a whole larger complete set, just process faster - period... Ask any DB people (you're talking to one now - all you have to do is avoid OVERLY complex "joins" mostly in SQL's all))... apk

Re:Facebook's made mySQL "scale" better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858113)

If I were an investor, I'd expect a lot more innovation from an apparently $75 billion company than the optimisation of a single application for a particular use case scenario, one that already leads in said use scenario anyway.

RTFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856711)

It won't IPO next week. It might *file* for it. Sigh.

Given Goldman Sachs' non-public/non-US offerings.. (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856713)

This just sounds like a cashout opportunity with the IPO folks holding the bag.

Re:Given Goldman Sachs' non-public/non-US offering (1)

bacterial_pus (863883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856749)

Before I buy any stock, I'd like to know how much ad revenue have they generated in the past year, which would be a small fraction of it's valuation. Can't wait for this stock to come crashing down

Re:Given Goldman Sachs' non-public/non-US offering (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856817)

At least some of that information should come out in the IPO filing. They generally have to file financial reports before they can list.

Re:Given Goldman Sachs' non-public/non-US offering (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857199)

...I'd like to know how much ad revenue have they generated in the past year, which would be a small fraction of it's valuation....

To extend on those remarks, two years ago the entire online advertising market was about $25B annually, with about half that going to GOOG for search placement. Old timers like myself will be surprised that only about a third of the online ad market is banner ads. I suppose adblocker-type technology will eventually completely kill off that market segment, or at least I hope it does. Anyway, FB can only be a small fraction of $10B ad revenue.

In normal market conditions companies used to sell for P.E. ratios in the single digit-ish range, but for a couple decades ultra high PE ratios have taken over. Once the baby boomers cash in their 401Ks that'll drop back to normal. Anyway it would not be all that out of line for a couple billion in revenue to account for a couple dozen billion in valuation.

Also the data they have is useful for spam services that are not online. Expect it to be mandatory to link your postal spam mail address and your social security number to your FB account, supposedly to cut down on griefers and spammers, but more likely to make the data they have on you more valuable.

Re:Given Goldman Sachs' non-public/non-US offering (4, Informative)

oldlurker (2502506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858025)

...I'd like to know how much ad revenue have they generated in the past year, which would be a small fraction of it's valuation....

To extend on those remarks, two years ago the entire online advertising market was about $25B annually, with about half that going to GOOG for search placement. Old timers like myself will be surprised that only about a third of the online ad market is banner ads. I suppose adblocker-type technology will eventually completely kill off that market segment, or at least I hope it does. Anyway, FB can only be a small fraction of $10B ad revenue.

In normal market conditions companies used to sell for P.E. ratios in the single digit-ish range, but for a couple decades ultra high PE ratios have taken over. Once the baby boomers cash in their 401Ks that'll drop back to normal. Anyway it would not be all that out of line for a couple billion in revenue to account for a couple dozen billion in valuation.

Also the data they have is useful for spam services that are not online. Expect it to be mandatory to link your postal spam mail address and your social security number to your FB account, supposedly to cut down on griefers and spammers, but more likely to make the data they have on you more valuable.

Facebook has become a giant in web advertising. Their revenue was estimated at $3.8 billion in 2011 (slightly lower than their own prediction of $4b), and to reach $7b next year (2013). Similar numbers have been reported many places, but one source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008598 [emarketer.com]

Total online ad market is at $31b, so Facebook has 12% market share of the global online ad market. source: http://www.iab.net/insights_research/industry_data_and_landscape/1675/1816825 [iab.net] . Their market share of users and time is even higher than that - 16% -- source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-is-destroying-google-in-time-spent-online-chart/4183 [zdnet.com]

Timothy You Dolt (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856731)

This headline and summary are totally incorrect. The story is that Facebook is going to FILE for an IPO, which is a big difference from actually going public. It will be months before that actually happens. For any gullible readers, you won't be able to buy or sell FB shares next week.

Once again, come to slashdot to see news stories mangled up beyond recognition by incompetent editors.

Does that include inflation .... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856735)

Over three times of that of Google, does that factor in the dwindling over inflated USD?

Re:Does that include inflation .... (2)

dukeblue219 (212029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856755)

There's been virtually no inflation since 2005 in the US, so that's not a factor here. Prices for some things have gone up, but there hasn't been any real inflation, at least not based on any official numbers.

yeah other than food, energy, transportation, (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856873)

and everything that the lives of ordinary people depend on, there has been no inflation.

oh wait, maybe the modern 'science' of economics is a gigantic pile of horse shit? maybe 'inflation' is a political number manipulated by assholes at the Fed in order to support various fucked up ideologies, policies that benefit the already rich, and whichever corrupt bribery machine happens to be in power at the moment?

Re:yeah other than food, energy, transportation, (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857107)

Yes, exactly like unemployment figures, which are manipulated to meet political goals, not to report facts.

You'd probably find the free data at

http://shadowstats.com/ [shadowstats.com]

to be very informative.

Re:Does that include inflation .... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856909)

Okay, so consider but my question is still valid. If the overall value of technology is dropping cloud computing, saturated markets, tablet pcs, cheap notebook pcs.... How is this 10x figure estimated? Is it more than 10x then?

In any case the dollar may not be domestically changing, internationally it has, oil / gold prices keep going up, and the US keeps printing money like it's going out of fashion. I guess one could call it the unofficial inflation :)

Re:Does that include inflation .... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856927)

3x figure ... Sorry don't know where 10x came from:)

Re:Does that include inflation .... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857451)

That's OK, you were just making sure your comment was relevant for 2013...

Re:Does that include inflation .... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857019)

The Fed's balance sheet and the price of gold suggest otherwise...

Asset inflation is mainly driven by monetary expansion, but asset prices are usually not included in 'official' inflation measure which are almost entirely based on numbers tightly coupled to wages. As production outstrips demand we're not going to see significant inflation in wages as there is a huge oversupply of labour as we leave the age of scarcity behind.

Separating official 'inflation' figures from real inflation has many political advantages, especially for the friends of power, so we can expect it to continue or even get more separated from reality than the current hedonics pretense (there have been serious suggestions to modify the calculations with ideas like 'if food gets more expensive people eat less food so there's been no inflation as the amount they pay for food is the same').

Re:Does that include inflation .... (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858163)

Why is it that everything on the Internet is archived, but no one remembers anything?

When Google did their first IPO. analysts were flabbergasted that Google was actually profitable. [cnn.com] Remember that the dot com of 2000 was just a few years back; billions of dollars had turned into vapour, and no one understood how the hell Google was actually making any money. (At the time: Text ads, what is this, a joke?)

I'm not saying Facebook will be the same story (look at MySpace, Friendster...) but they have the user base, they have poached a stagering amount of ex-Google employes, and they have changed the landscape of the Internet (for better or worse).

I say wait and see.

Surprised this hasn't happened already TBH (1)

Gricey (154787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856757)

It can be argued that these guys are behind "Noo Meejuh" being an everyday household concept, but I still don't have a facebook account :-)

If anything I'm surprised this hasn't happened already given the size of the company, the talent they attract, etc.

Maybe this will make them innovate and change their game a bit, but for me they seems somewhat like a one-trick-pony and G+ seems to have stolen their trick. /G

They just pulled out their thorn (2)

bouldin (828821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857015)

I'd say the timing has to do with the Ceglia case.

With a recent judicial decision to sanction Ceglia [buffalonews.com] , Facebook most likely believes they are in the endgame of that suit and can move forward with an IPO without the suit causing problems.

Think about it. Would you file for a $75B IPO (or whatever bullshit figure they've come up with) if there was an open suit with someone claiming they own half of the founder's shares, and backing it up with a signed contract?

How can i bet on a falling stock price again? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856791)

.com bubble is calling.

Re:How can i bet on a falling stock price again? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856839)

Buy "put" options. Keep in mind that these expire after some amount of time, so you have to be able to predict how quickly the price will fall. Also, I would not be so quick to assume that Facebook is overhyped; they have a lot of data that they can sell, a lot of advertising power, etc.; it is like claiming that Google is overhyped.

Re:How can i bet on a falling stock price again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857655)

spoken by someone who has no idea about options trading, you should do a little more research about what the hell your talking about before you give investment advice.

Re:How can i bet on a falling stock price again? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858111)

dont worry. i anyway thought this more of as an ironic comment than a request for advice..

Re:How can i bet on a falling stock price again? (1)

huge (52607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856953)

If you are sure about this, I suggest you short the stock and make some money out of it.

Facebook timeline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856819)

Having just seen the idiotic monstrocity, the Timeline, that Facebook is forcing on its users as the new face to their world I can come to only one conclusion. Facebook's own timeline will show that it's already fallen into the chasm, even as its IPO approaches, and it's speeding toward the web-giant apocalypse where it will soon be keeping MySpace company. A select few will make money from the Facebook IPO. The rest will lose everything.

FBI wants a new keyword monitor for Facebook (1, Offtopic)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856821)

http://www.allgov.com/Top_Stories/ViewNews/FBI_Stepping_Up_Monitoring_of_Social_Media_120128 [allgov.com]
Careful if you Web 2.0 about terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime and other criminal matters in any of 12 languages.
800 million members - whats that in Persona Management Software terms?
Don't chat about insider trading - before big valuations.

Re:FBI wants a new keyword monitor for Facebook (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857191)

Careful if you Web 2.0 about terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime and other criminal matters in any of 12 languages ... Don't chat about insider trading - before big valuations.

This is good advice, but especially good advice when applied to publicly posting on the internet.

myspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856827)

I am sure that the people who invested in myspace a couple of years ago are really eager to jump on this opportunity.

10/75 doesn't mean new ownership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856841)

Selling 13% of the company to outside investors doesn't really mean that de facto ownership is changing. The same people who were running the company before and making the decisions will continue to do so because they continue to own the majority of the company.

Someone please remind me ... (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856843)

how facebook makes money. The real foldy stuff, not stock prices that are based on hopes of increased stock prices at some nebulous date in the future.

Re:Someone please remind me ... (2, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856897)

They sell ads. And it looks like their ad revenues has some space to grow.

I'd be more concerned about how they intend to keep their ever moving customers from moving to the next big thing once it appears on the horizon.

Re:Someone please remind me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857331)

I'd be more concerned about how they intend to keep their ever moving customers from moving to the next big thing once it appears on the horizon.

They don't. Hence the IPO - so they can cash out before everything goes down the drain.

Re:Someone please remind me ... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856899)

They sell you to advertisers and game companies. It's big business - just as Google how well your habits and interests can generate advertising revenue.

Re:Someone please remind me ... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857137)

how facebook makes money. The real foldy stuff, not stock prices that are based on hopes of increased stock prices at some nebulous date in the future.

Have you seen a facebook addict after being forcibly removed from the service for a day or two? Not a pretty sight. Apparently, amongst the addicts, it rates just below breathing, but above all other bodily functions.

They'd be doing a huge disservice to their stockholders by not charging at least a buck a day for the "heavy users". I could see something like your streamy-line-thing only updates once a day (or once per hour, etc) for free, but if you're a paid member then its realtime. Or paid members get realtime but free members live perpetually 30 minutes in the past...

Re:Someone please remind me ... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857417)

I could see something like your streamy-line-thing only updates once a day (or once per hour, etc) for free, but if you're a paid member then its realtime. Or paid members get realtime but free members live perpetually 30 minutes in the past...

That's be the best thing that could happen for Google+.

your tax dollars at work (3, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856853)

and who will be the 'bookrunner' for this IPO? who will suck up untold millions of dollars, while hundreds of thousands of joe blow investors get screwed by the IPO process? who are the favored few hedge funders and well-connected who get to make a lifetime's savings in a few seconds simply for knowing the right people?

is it Goldman Sachs, is it Merrill Lynch? Morgan Stanley?

Well, there is one thing we know for sure: the Bookrunner would not exist, unless you, your tax dollars, bailed them out in 2008. Because god knows, without these hard working wall street guys and hedge fund managers skimming tens of millions off of the process of an IPO, there is no way that we could ever have innovation or progress.

Re:your tax dollars at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857057)

Occupy Facebook IPO

Re:your tax dollars at work (3, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857281)

http://whoownsfacebook.com/ [whoownsfacebook.com]

Re:your tax dollars at work (2)

jbwolfe (241413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857665)

Your point should be obvious to all, but the sad part is there are still enough active voters in America to amount to about half of the votes going to the Republican candidate for President. They hear that candidate say that Obama is going to raise their taxes, he's against "small" business. he's raising the deficit (not stimulating the economy), He's godless and wants to take away my guns... Who's the "bookrunner"? Part of the wealthy elite that own not only the Republicans, but all of Congress.

Oh Good (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38856893)

Another sociopathic tech billionaire...that'll solve all the world's problems. I wonder what self-serving laws he's going to buy.

Innovate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38856985)

Three years from now you will be wondering how it could ever have been worth 70Billion and where all the 'innovations' went.

ICQ? (1)

Paulee (1894600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857007)

Did ICQ go public yet? I'm sure that instant messaging is the next big thing...

little, almost no comments. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857031)

Where are you people?

On an other note. As an non facebook / social-media user. I find the web still being in 1.0 / 1990 stage when it comes to searching for, and browsing through knowledge.
I really had hopes on wikipedia, but it seems to have stalled into:
* To sparse to be usable when you need to go deeper.
* To concentraded information (ie, what is found often relys on alot of prior knowledge) see math section for example.

I would like to have wikipedia browsing in different modes/filter and levels:
* levels are easy, more level increases the amount of explanations, details etc..
* modes, rearrange the article or filter out stuff that you are not your focus area.

Re:little, almost no comments. (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857067)

Easy.. just use your brain to formulate which sections aren't relevant to you (and examples), and just don't read them.

If you want all those features, make a web page that pulls and processes the article, only showing the sections you'd like to see based on your criteria.

Personally, between targeted Google searches and Wikipedia, I think it works just fine.

You could also try wolfram alpha

Public? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857651)

what, was Facebook in a closed beta before now? Or could only college students in the United States and Canada could signup for an account? Maybe those two ideas were true a few years ago.

I thought anyone could signup for a face book account now? I see a blue sign up button on their front page. Maybe I'm not just familiar with IPOs and how they affect tech companies.

The end of Facebook (2)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857667)

This is it. As soon as an IPO is done the owners will begin to lose control and probably get forced out the "suits". See Ted Turner as an example. Personally I think Facebook has "jumped the shark". Only old people hang out there anymore and since I can't stand old gossips, or gossips in general, I avoid it. Not to mention the crappy ads and the security breeches.

new dictionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857687)

Facebook has cheated it's way to GET BIG. Asking for a person's email AND password to load your friends list is not only illegal but damn well rude. I still get emails from facebook persisting that so called friends of mine want to be friends on the network. Every available impersonation trick was used to get millions of users within weeks signed up, people either too young, too old or too ignorant to provide their email account's password.

The people behind it had balls. They either took a big risk on loosing them or there were people behind them with even bigger ones.

Btw, it takes some pretty simple php code to protect your privacy on a web site which the "innovators" of the century have failed(?) to produce several times...

Bubble Collapse imminent? (2)

marcroelofs (797176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857839)

I have a bad feeling about this. This type of IPO hype strongly reminds me of the previous Web 1.0 collapse and the timing would be right for FB to maximize it's peak on the market.

Got Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857885)

Who from you got a facebook account?
Who has one but dont use it?
Who has not got one?

Is it patents all the way down? (1)

angularbanjo (1521611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857899)

Shudder to think what will become of this hulk when the masses move on to the next thing and the investors look a little silly. Will its red giant / downward spiral business strategy be based on firing patent suits at anyone who ever thought of adding social concepts to their projects?

Sorry about that! (3, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858061)

Aha! This must be the beginning of the end for Facebook as I predicted would happen as soon as I signed up finally last week.

I am the grim reaper of social networks!

My last victim was MySpace when I signed up like a week before everyone started jumping ship and it became My_.

Not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858137)

"Many credible sources, including Forbes and CBS, say that Facebook will finally IPO next week..."

No, they will file for their IPO next week. They will not have their IPO for several months.

Raises? No. (1)

Kynde (324134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858185)

This shift raises questions about how the new ownership will affect the company's ability to innovate and remain on the forefront of social media.

No, quite the reverse. This shift answers all those questions in one fell swoop.

File, not go public (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858201)

They will likely file to go public next week not actually go public. It could be months before they actually go public.

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