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Facebook Adds 96 Million Shares, Will Privacy Get Worse After IPO?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the ramping-up-farmville-production dept.

Facebook 191

AlistairCharlton writes "Facebook has made yet another amendment to its S-1 filing, adding a further 96 million shares, pushing its initial public offering up to a potential maximum of $18.4bn (£11.5bn). In what is the eighth amendment to its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook has also increased the number of shares allowed for over allotment, up from 50.6 million to 63.2 million." Facebook will have a lot of pressure to increase revenue after it goes public. jfruh writes in with a story about how that will impact their privacy policies. "There's been a steady drumbeat of panics over the past few years involving how Facebook uses the personal information you give it; nevertheless, someday you'll look back at 2012 as the golden age of Facebook privacy. That's because, once Facebook has its IPO, it'll come under huge pressure from the markets to extract more revenue from its business. And with display advertising not generating game-changing amounts of money, Facebook has only one valuable resource: your data, which is going to be monetized as hard as possible."

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Let's compare this to Google's IPO (-1, Troll)

John Wiggenerstrom (2640933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020931)

Both Facebook and Google share many business practices and monetizing practices. While Google had the unfortunate timing for their IPO (2004) after dot com bubble burst, the exact same thing could had been said about them. Many slashdotters, however, still believe that Google does the right thing.

For me the interesting thing is how similar these two companies actually are. Both companies base their revenue on advertisement and gathering user data, provide tons of open source contributions [facebook.com] and are free for everyone to use.

What I cannot understand is why Google gets a free pass on this while slashdotters absolutely hate Facebook. Both Google and Facebook have done their mistakes, but only Facebook is constantly cried about. I can only guess it's because Facebook goes against slashdotters nerdy backgrounds. Gee, we have a place where every person can discuss, share their life the way they want to and be social.

It isn't the first time I've read how internet should be for geeks only and normal people not given access. And that right there shows some really horrible side of geeks. It's align the lines of hating gays because you can't stand someone being different from you. Yet geeks feel like everyone hates them for being different.

Maybe it's some traumatizing event from childhood or something, but after I realized this, I cannot think geeks as nothing more than the most hateful group of people towards people with other kind of thinking. This could also very well be the reasons why geeks are bullied - if you treat other like shit, you will be treated like shit. Be nice to them and they will be nice to you.

Facebook is still a young company. They have worked more on their grown rather than revenue by now, and it has worked very well for them. Unlike MySpace, I don't think Facebook will be going away anytime soon either. They have grown past that phase and are now the number one social network in every country. We used to have same kind of services in my country even back in 2000 - they're all now seriously in bad shape because Facebook took all the users.

I also don't see why Facebook would need to use any of this for privacy violation. Just like Google, their business depends on not giving out the information, but by establishing way for advertisers to use it via their platforms. Selling out info would kill them, and even more so than if Google did it. The information, users etc is the most single biggest asset they have. This is also why Google+ and Diaspora are losing heavily and will never amount to Facebook - they don't have the users, so no other users will come.

Working in investment industry, I would seriously suggest buying Facebook shares. It is, and will be, the internets social network. They will be heavily increasing their profits once they start working on it instead of growth. It will still also heavily grow when rest of the world gets online. Currently there are amount 800 million people (a very impressive number!), but there is room for over 6 billion more. And those won't be joining MySpace, Google+ or Diaspora, they will join Facebook because that's where everyone is.

Just my two cents,
John

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40020961)

because Google keeps your data in house, and facebook doesn't, pretty simply said.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40020981)

Bullshit. Still waiting for someone to provide just one case of Facebook selling user data.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021177)

Don't know about selling data, but their astroturfing unit seems to be running at full steam.

Take a look at the original post. I SAID LOOK AT IT! Holy shit! IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. The grammar and punctuation is impeccable. It's the longest, most intensive, best edited FIRST POST! I've ever seen. Complete with embedded links! Almost as if he had it typed and ready to paste in advance of this story. Oh, and it's the only story ever commented on by a brand new ID. Get bent, astroturfer. We like Google better than you. Suck on it.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021277)

Don't know about selling data, but their astroturfing unit seems to be running at full steam.

Take a look at the original post. I SAID LOOK AT IT! Holy shit! IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. The grammar and punctuation is impeccable. It's the longest, most intensive, best edited FIRST POST! I've ever seen. Complete with embedded links! Almost as if he had it typed and ready to paste in advance of this story. Oh, and it's the only story ever commented on by a brand new ID. Get bent, astroturfer. We like Google better than you. Suck on it.

I can top that... google his name, it shows up nowhere on the entire internet except this /. story. If you're gonna astroturf, at least have the brains to use a name like "john doe" or "a5tr0turf3r".

Can someone with a FB account search for him on FB? I deleted my account well over a year ago so I can't search FB.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021293)

Seriously. They'd be more credible if they posted AC. But apparently that's not how you run the AstroTurf playbook.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021415)

I can top that... google his name, it shows up nowhere on the entire internet except this /. story. If you're gonna astroturf, at least have the brains to use a name like "john doe" or "a5tr0turf3r".

Actually, this time, he actually did just that. "John Wiggenerstrom" == "Waggener Edstrom".

Trolling is an art. I miss the Chiropractor Troll, he was funnier.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021489)

Holy shit that was subtle; trolling is indeed a art.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021499)

Yes he was, and he would take your suggestions about his trolling seriously.

This guy though, no imagination, not even remotely entertaining, and will not take any constructive criticism. Hell, goatse trolls are more entertaining and add more to the conversation than this guy.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (-1)

John Wiggenerstrom (2640933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021003)

Just like Google, Facebook keeps your data in house. Their privacy setting are working great now. At one point they were hard to use, but this is a problem with new services that aren't polished yet and when trying to get more users to share things to make it more interesting for others (to grown).

With that reasoning, if the IPO, beginning of monetization and Facebook's growth does something to privacy settings, it will only improve them.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021291)

When Facebook makes a change to their privacy policy they are more concerned with getting that information to their customers rather than being concerned of the privacy concerns of their product.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (2)

Apu de Beaumarchais (2023822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021447)

Just like Google, Facebook keeps your data in house

Unless you or one of your friends use any apps

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021011)

Google, unlike Facebook, actually makes money.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021357)

Also, Google has a mobile strategy.

ZING!

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021513)

Google, unlike Facebook, actually makes money.

In the year before its IPO (2003), google profited $106M [wikipedia.org] .

In the year before its IPO (2011), facebook profited $1,000M [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Interesting)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021747)

Actually, Facebook's profit margin and debt-equity ratio are about the same as Google's. However, their revenue and profit are around 1/10 of Google (IIRC) while their estimated valuation is about 1/5 (?), so they are likely overvalued.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021025)

>> Many slashdotters, however, still believe that Google does the right thing.

No, seriously.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021775)

I shit on Google, too. They once had the world's best search for the www.

Now? Let us both laugh and cry.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (3, Insightful)

NerdmastaX (1749114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021057)

you are very misinformed, google came in a decade ago and helped the world rid itself of flashy graphic ads. google was faster on dialup as well. Facebook was a less flashy myspace with similar retarded games. Might i add that when facebook messes up they dont fix it till they get caught. when this ipo happens the money is gonna kill facebook

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021111)

Wow, first time poster and you managed to get this giant diatribe about what a great investment facebook is posted in a matter of seconds. Impressive, astroturfer, impressive. Unfortunately, only morons listen to investment retards about technology decisions.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021141)

What the HELL is it with this trend of new people having multi-paragraph posts up at the exact same time the article hits. Check the timestamps -- there's less than a minute between this post and the article going up. It's this account's first post, it's paragraphs long, it's up at the same time as the article, and it's telling you to buy Facebook stock. Draw your own conclusions.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (3, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021437)

People get paid to do this, obviously, and Slashdot tolerates it because they know what side their bread is buttered on.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021651)

Most of it seems to be not necessarily pro-FaceBook or Microsoft, etc, but anti-Google. Almost as if at least one of those companies were taking another run at spreading bad stories about Google.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021153)

Working in investment industry, I would seriously suggest buying Facebook shares

When people in the "investment industry" start talking about buying shares in anything publicly, that's usually about the time the general public should run, screaming, in the opposite direction.

You go ahead and buy yourself a few thousand shares, 'Mr. Investment Industry.' Good luck with your pumping and dumping.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (4, Funny)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021187)

Ya, only if you know HISTORY. But this about the future, man. Progress. You have to look forward. Seize the day. BUY BUY BUY!

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (4, Funny)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021389)

I thought exactly the same thing when Google went IPO and the Investment Industry was pushing a stock price of $75. I convinced our investment club (remember those?) that they didn't have a business plan, had no obvious source of sufficient revenue to sustain the share valuation that was being discussed, and that we shouldn't buy in.

8 years later, it's above $600.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021467)

And dozens of other companies that fit the same description are gone. Don't doubt yourself. Don't invest in a company if you don't understand how they're going to make money.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021701)

Myspace launched in 2003, was bought by News Corporation in 2005 for $580 million, was totally irrelevant by 2008, and was sold again in 2011 to Justin Timberlake for only $35 million.

It seems to me that Google is a huge exception to an otherwise pretty bankable rule.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021159)

Both Facebook and Google share many business practices and monetizing practices. While Google had the unfortunate timing for their IPO (2004) after dot com bubble burst, the exact same thing could had been said about them. Many slashdotters, however, still believe that Google does the right thing.

I'm not sure who these "Many Slashdotters" are that you refer to -- some sort of expert panel on the morality of corporations I guess -- but they certainly are ignorant, and haven't been reading the website for which they are named. Google has become quite bent, particularly relative to their starting point, and that subject is discussed regularly and extensively on these forums (typically with a few ignorant twits starting the discussion by saying, "But you all love Google!" followed by a chorus of, "Are you daft? No we don't."). From cozying up to the U.S. surveillance state to embracing censorship in China, Google has become far more morally flexible since their IPO.

And bear in mind, Google started off as a hard-core moralist corporation. They were the poster-boys for "what a scientist/moralist company should be" until Eric Schmidt and the public shareholders came along. Facebook is starting with no discernible principles to act as a rudder.

Of course, I agree with your assessment of the investment potential. But that says a great deal more about the flaws in our economic policies than it does about whether Facebook is good for long-term United States growth.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021179)

Facebook is starting with no discernible principles to act as a rudder.

Based on the history of the company, I wouldn't say that's true at all. They've got lots of principles, just not very many decent ones. Certainly not as regards those poor saps using the service.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021175)

I use google to do things

Facebook is a place you gather with your family and friends.

I guess it's kinda like the difference between using a prostitute at a motel versus bringing one home to meet the family, and then fucking in the living room in the middle of a family reunion that you also invited your friends over for.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021215)

The main reason is Google already has a business model (serving ads), when I dont see one for facebook. Google ads are far more effective than facebook. Google can serve ads, when you are really looking for something. You are about to buy a car, you are far more likely to google, and compare cars, than 'facebook' for it. Facebook would really have to start pushing it, if they want to sustain themselves on advertising, which would mean more shady practices (buying information from shady companys, etc).
PS: did you even read the article? Your point seems to be Google gets a free pass, so facebook should too. You dont even understand how different facebook and google are.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021263)

John Wiggenerstrom? Heh. Hello there, astroturfer!

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021271)

Nice try, Facebook promoter / private share holder.

Rules of Effective Astroturfing: (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021289)

Step 1: Change the subject: Let's not discuss X, let's discuss Y instead!

Step 2: Play the 'victim.' - waaa, those evil privacy advocates are ruining teh internetz!

Step 3: Point the finger - 'we may be bad, but we're not as bad as *gasp* Google!

Step 4: If all else fails, insult the audience - "This could also very well be the reasons why geeks are bullied - if you treat other like shit, you will be treated like shit."


Well played, sir, well played...

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021303)

Okay so I know you're just another of those high UID, never posted before anti-Google troll-shills but I can answer this question:

"What I cannot understand is why Google gets a free pass on this while slashdotters absolutely hate Facebook."

There are a number of reasons, but for me they are:

Despite all the FUD your PR company likes to spread, for all the theoretical things Google has done wrong over the years I've never actually suffered anything detrimental as a result of Google's theoretically evil actions. I've never suffered spam, I've never had any problems. Contrast this to Facebook and the theoretical problems turn into actual problems - I have had Facebook illegaly sell my data in breach of the UK's data protection act, I have had it recommend people who it could only have associated with me by illegaly gathering data from elsewhere. I know these things for a fact because we're talking about data which I have not stored on Facebooks systems, e-mail addresses that I have only used in certain places and so forth.

Further, whilst Google certainly does do wrong, it also often tries hard to do right, in contrast I can't think of anything positive that's over and above it's business interests that Facebook has done. I've also yet to see anyone quite as obnoxious and who quite so desperately believes his own bullshit as the guy following the discussion at about 49minutes into this documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeOlO_2nddY [youtube.com]

Still, it's fun watching him squirm.

Oh, it probably doesn't help that Google came from a couple of guys doing some university research, whilst Facebook came from a guy who stole and cheated left right and centre either. That's not really the greatest starting point for a company who wants to get all our data, whether given it honestly, or whether it's obtained it illegaly. On the illegality thing, here's a hint as to what I'm referring to: under the data protection acts of many countries, including (all?) those in Europe, a third party cannot give a company permission to hold your data, yet Facebook uses EXACTLY this method to gather data on people. The previous automatic opt in on allowing apps to gather friends data even if those friends haven't used that app and hence have no relationship with the 3rd party company in question is an example of this.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021341)

Oh, and I forgot to add, perhaps it's also because Google doesn't need to hire shills to troll Slashdot?

It's ironic, your very employment answers your own question - the reason people hate Facebook more than Google is precisely because Facebook hires too many people like you.

Re:Let's compare this to Google's IPO (3, Insightful)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021451)

I would seriously suggest buying Facebook shares

That's only if your a short term investor who has the capitol to put up for a large buy, the regular people that don't have access to those types of funds should stay away as FaceBook as a long term investment, is insane. It will slowly die out just as Myspace did after it was bought and pressured to make more money. In the short term the price will continue to go up until something new pops up, users will mass migrate, and the revenues will dry up like grandmas vagina.

Hateful geek comment (5, Interesting)

pesho (843750) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021545)

Currently there are amount 800 million people (a very impressive number!), but there is room for over 6 billion more. And those won't be joining MySpace, Google+ or Diaspora, they will join Facebook because that's where everyone is.

Last time I checked 800 million is way less than 6 billion (about 13% of 6 billion), which kind of contradicts the statement that 'that's where everyone is'

Working in investment industry, I ...

Oh is that where the fuzzy math comes from?

Before I reach for my wallet, could mister financial industry explain how facebook's revenue (around 1bilion) justifies the current valuation of 100 billion? Short of making every single living person on the planet a facebook member and then quadrupling their net income per user (currently at about $1) I don't see how any investment made now will break even in the next 5 years.

Re:Hateful geek comment (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021789)

People who are wondering about Facebook's end game can't see the forest for the trees. The IPO *is* the end game. The absurd valuation is paraded around like a supercar, like it's a sign of power and not of a huge loan that needs to be repaid.

Will it? Yes. And here's why. (5, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020969)

Will it make privacy worse?

Yes.

And here's why:

Read the fine print of the IPO - it says FB "will do evil whenever it can".

Now if that is not a slap in the face of Google, I don't know what is.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020987)

They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximise profits, so of course they will do that by reducing privacy

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (5, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021093)

They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximise profits, so of course they will do that by reducing privacy

Which will, of course, result in successful lawsuits and fines in Canada and the EU.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021243)

And might be why they won't do it.

Facebook has managed to behave the way it does for the same way Wiretapping laws didn't apply to Skype for a long time, as long as you're a bit player in the business no one gives a shit what you do. As Facebook has gotten big governments have started to take notice. The bigger they are, and the more public they are the more likely governments are to take notice, and if rules don't exist they'll write new ones.

Governments are slow to react to change, that's the nature of the beast, and they have a lot of things on legislative plates that always seem far more pressing than whatever problem I think they should be addressing today. But that's beside the point, piss enough enough important representatives with TSA groping, Privacy Violations (wait until some important senators kid gets stalked via facebook and see how quickly the rules change), or whatever else and see just how quickly government can write new laws. And being publicly traded valued at 100 billion dollars means you don't have a lot of excuses about 'we can't afford to run our business like that' and if you don't comply your shareholders and the government will not be pleased.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021101)

They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximise profits, so of course they will do that by reducing privacy

Do you know that Facebook will have 1 shareholder with 55.8% of the voting shares?
That shareholder is CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg e could do whatever he wants with Facebook after the IPO and never have to work another day in his life.
The only shareholder that matters doesn't need maximized profits.
How do facts jive with your "reduce privacy to maximise profits" ideology?

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (3, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021133)

considering THEY ALREADY DO IT and HAVE DONE IT, it jives pretty well.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021197)

The only shareholder that matters doesn't need maximized profits.

Since when in the history of the world has anyone turned down increased wealth because they didn't need it?

Did I cross over into the mirror universe this morning?

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021615)

Warren Buffett comes to mind, but he's one of a few. Mainly philanthropists. Bill Gates, too.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021757)

I know a number of people who turned down a management job that pays more, because they absolutely hate managing people, and loved the position they were currently in. Should I be offered management, I will as well turn it down, because I fucking hate dealing with people, even if they're employees I currently work with.

There's a line that some people draw between 'being happy' and 'being rich'.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021507)

Do you know that Facebook will have 1 shareholder with 55.8% of the voting shares?

I am pretty sure that Facebook is required to maximize the profit of all its investors, despite the fact that one investor holds a majority stake. As CEO, Zuckerberg does have a duty to all of Facebook's investors, not just his own vision...

The only shareholder that matters doesn't need maximized profits.
How do facts jive with your "reduce privacy to maximise profits" ideology?

...except that Zuckerberg has already attacked privacy rights, both in statements and through Facebook's policies and design. So there is really no reason to think that he would not continue to do so.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (1)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021189)

And if they drive users away in the process, how will that be fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility?

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021577)

People will only be driven away if they see their privacy being violated -- information exposed to friends, etc. Now, suppose that Facebook just conveniently sells more detailed information to advertisers at higher prices, without telling the users -- nobody will leave the site, and even if they are told what is happening they will just say, "Well so what, I am not that interesting so why should I care?"

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021225)

I love it when people use the hackneyed logic. Yes it is true – but it does not mean that a company hast to rape, pillage or commit short term fixes to make next quarter’s earnings. As long as the C.E.O. can stand up and say – with a straight face – that their actions is part of a plan for the long term good of the company their safe.

What this phrase means is that Zuckerberg can’t screw the minority shareholders because it’s inconvenient. If company X offered to buy out FB at a 20% premium, Zukcerberg must evaluate that offer in the interest of all shareholders – not on the basis that he would be kicked out of the door the following day.

And to answer the original question, I would not think the FB will change it’s privacy policy much. Yes, shareholders can bring pressure. But Zuckerberg controls over 50% of the voting stock and he has been exerting a lot of pressure to grow Facebook – so I don’t see the overall pressure, which is high, to change. (Which I thinks says something about my opinion about FB’s privacy policy – so take it with a grain of salt.)

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021575)

No, they have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the shareholders' best interests which is not necessarily maximizing profits. It's what they sell to shareholders in their prospectus that matters. Go read Google's prospectus to see what makes them different from most other companies, particularly the sections about "privacy", "evil", "long term" and "brand".

I don't work for Google or own any part of them.

Re:Will it? Yes. And here's why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021639)

Fuck the shareholders. A corporation which does not serve the public good as well as the shareholders should not be permitted to exist. Its corporate charter should be revoked, its assets liquidated, and the stockholders should paid off with checks which say "Corporate Death Penalty" in the memo field.

is google any different? (0)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020977)

other than tracking you on the internet google uses all kinds of other data it buys from third parties to figure out who you are to target advertising

my father in law is getting acura ads non-stop in his gmail
he barely knows how to use a computer
yet he has a 9 year old acura and is shopping for a new car. but hasn't done it online. he gets brochures from the dealerships

only explanation is that google buys up auto registration/sale data, matches it up with your IP and internet subscriber data to target ads

Re:is google any different? (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021139)

Or else he did a search for Acura to find the dealerships. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

Re:is google any different? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021185)

Indeed, because the only other accusation is that Google is reading the old man's mind.

Re:is google any different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021453)

Well ok, that's even simpler.

Re:is google any different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021771)

In theory, he could have given his gmail address to Acura, who sold it to Google, who is using it to display ads within Gmail.

Possible, but it seems unlikely.

Re:is google any different? (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021227)

Or else he mentioned his fucking car in an email once.

But no, you're right, they've probably got their agents infiltrating the DMV as we speak!!! OH NOES, THE GOOGLE SPIDERS!!!! AIEIEEEEEE!!!!!!! [youtube.com]

Re:is google any different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021253)

and how does one match an address from an auto registry database to a typical IP address? Does the telco also share a list of IP address to physical address info? And if the IP address is dynamic, as most are, do they also time-stamp IP addresses for Google?

Or, as another poster mentioned, perhaps he googled Acura, or there's an email in his Gmail.

Re:is google any different? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021337)

Google has enough resources to match IP address to a physical address. Most maps users, set their "default location" in google maps to their real home address. Also when you use, "My location" feature in maps, Google gets you location, and gets to associate with your gmail address.

Re:is google any different? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021797)

Google has enough resources to match IP address to a physical address.

That's unlikely. The federal government and the RIAA both have to subpoena records from ISPs to map an IP address to a real address. I doubt Google can manage it unless you hand them that information.

Most maps users, set their "default location" in google maps to their real home address. Also when you use, "My location" feature in maps, Google gets you location, and gets to associate with your gmail address.

Most maps users don't bother setting their default location. The "my location" feature relies on IP geolocation or the location information your browser has access to. Unless you're using it from a smartphone or tablet, that means all its' got is IP geolocation. They don't need Maps for that at all, since they already know what IP address you log into Gmail from. But IP geolocation has no precision; for associating per-household data with Gmail accounts, it's completely worthless.

Re:is google any different? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021331)

only explanation is that google buys up auto registration/sale data, matches it up with your IP and internet subscriber data to target ads

Even though the vast majority of broadband customers have dynamically assigned IP's?

I've got it - witchcraft! We must burn Google at teh stake!

Re:is google any different? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021527)

Based on past experience, Goodle is very different to Facebook.
We recently had the SOPA debacle. Who fought this through the courts? Was it Facebook? Nope. Microsoft? Nope? Apple? Nope. It was good old Google.
Now let's look at Facebook. Chequered history of stolen base product? Yep. Untested CEO. Yep. Hires PR company to discredit its competitor? Yep.
How can anyone that knows both companies eve remotely suggest they're in the same boat?
I can't guarantee that Google won't follow the IBM/Microsoft/Facebook "unethical" path, but the others have all proven themselves unethical -consistently- enough in their time.
Big enough difference for ya?
PS can't correct obvious typos as post was sent fro my iPhone which doesn't allow scrollback for corrections

Re:is google any different? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021773)

"only explanation"???

You need to get back on your medication pronto.

Until the rights to you are sold (1, Offtopic)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020991)

Your mind is totally controlled
You have been stuffed into our mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

Frank Zappa

Lie Lie Lie (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021029)

I fill my profile with lots of fake data (such as the wrong city and birthday). Or just leave it blank (don't list my workplace or career).

Re:Lie Lie Lie (4, Funny)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021145)

I can picture your ads now: "Do you have compulsive lying disorder? Get relief now, ask your doctor about VeriPilium."

Re:Lie Lie Lie (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021223)

hahahahahahahaa

Re:Lie Lie Lie (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021425)

tinfoil ads. I look at it as I'm going to be spammed anyway, about a hundred spam per day in my gmail spam folder.

You know what I'd pay for? Real ads. Stuff I actually wanna buy.

GOOG please spam the heck out of me with cheap 3-d extruder printer/replicator thingies, new Spartan series FPGA boards, sales on 3/8 inch aluminum cutting endmills, books about scala and ruby, raspberry pi sellers who actually have the device and stock and aren't therefore gouging on price, everything Charlie Stross and Oreilly and Pragmatic and Jason Scott publishes and nothing packt publishes and add pr0n, lots of that. Hell I'd pay to receive advertising like that, in fact I do, that's basically make magazine a little more fine tuned to my interests thus I'd pay even more (well, its MAKE aside from the pr0n part... although as a gimmick they should start centerfolds) How come no one is willing to send me that kind of spam/advertisement/banner, its all junk ads?

I've got all this stuff up on G+, step up to the plate GOOG and send me the good spam, ok?

Re:Lie Lie Lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021749)

However I can also picture the ads, "Do you have a compulsive stalking disorder? Get changed now, and ask your doctor for help."

Re:Lie Lie Lie (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021301)

Hell, I'd bet a significant number of the profiles on there haven't even been accessed in months. As for false information, almost everyone I know has false information in their profile somewhere.

That's one reason why I think this whole IPO is going to crash and burn. Once shareholders start demanding the wringing of every piece of revenue out of the data they can, they're going to realize that a lot of the data is trash, which is going to affect the value of it, obviously. Then you're going to end up with Facebook doing retarded shit like Google's 'Real Name' policy to bolster their products value and alienate the user base even more, which is going to lead to even more abandoned accounts (because outright deleting them is a pain in the fucking ass) and bullshit lies.

Fake profile data and idle chatter (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021419)

Almost all of my profile data is fake, much of it obviously ludicrous (my college is right, my degree in "Bible Sexuality" not so much, my occupation in the "Salt Mines" is factually incorrect but metaphorically true...). The only profile picture I've ever had that was actually a photograph of me was when I was 6 years old (40-odd years ago). There are no photos tagged of me.

I don't really understand how they will plan to make money off this.

Re:Fake profile data and idle chatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021679)

I believe they think they will profit by showing you ads for tinfoil hats, conspiracy theory books, and apartments (so you can move out of the basement).

OK, just joking - I actually share a lot of your habits when it comes to FB. I don't log on to it very often, but it also does not know correct information for me. And I never have figured out how it can make money. I've never seen an ad on there - I use adblock.

Re:Lie Lie Lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021653)

I did this once, and the ads started telling giving me dating sites that had "active seniors in your area"
I nearly threw up, and immediately deleted the account.

Bing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021031)

Facebook has a deal with Bing, everything you upload gets copied to Bing. They don't necessarily redistribute it or make it searchable, but it's all stored away on Bing hard disks. Every word, every picture, everything.

Why is there so few comments today? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021099)

Diablo III

Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021131)

... nobody talks about the solution [plainboards.com] .

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

dehole (1577363) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021677)

That is just a simple message board, worse than reddit.

People still use facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021155)

I'm a pretty techie guy (embedded programmer by trade) and I don't use facebook. Nobody I know at work or my family uses facebook.

Well, not entirely true. My single-parent, out-of-work aunt and her kid do. They play a *lot* of farming ville. Of course, they also watch a lot of TV - "Sorry we can't come to the family picnic; my show is on tonight." I guess facebook will do okay. After all, money from dumb people is still money.

Re:People still use facebook? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021261)

Just how "pretty" are you?
skype tonight?

Re:People still use facebook? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021363)

I guess facebook will do okay. After all, money from dumb people is still money.

Hi, you must be new here:

Welcome to "capitalism!" Iz goot zyztem, eh comrade?

Ticketing, apps, subscriptions (2)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021217)

Facebook is not just a social network, it's consumer groupware. Compare it to television or telephone, not to Myspace and other previous offerings focusing solely on the social factor.

I expect the following:

- provides ticketing for events.
- a store for media content and app content.
- even a premium subscription model to remove ads (hi Slashdot!).

Re:Ticketing, apps, subscriptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40021599)

I expect the initial investors to cash out (and they've already announced when...) and the stock to tank within the next five years. There's no growth potential, people are still not looking at ads, it's beginning to lose the "new smell" and companies are learning that "Facebook friends" are about as valuable as visitors to their Second Life branch office. The IPO is the second part of buy low, sell high.

Tricky question (2)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021247)

Facebook Adds 96 Million Shares, Will Privacy Get Worse After IPO?

Another question I've been mulling over lately is: will Kim Kardashian become less private now that she's dating Kanye West?

Monetizing Mobile (1)

Apu de Beaumarchais (2023822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021275)

I'm pretty interested in how they're going to try to monetize mobile after spending a ton of money on Instagram and other mobile companies. Finishing up my own mobile app, I decided to not put ads in part because Facebook and Google don't have them on mobile, but mostly because the interface is already so limited and I didn't want it to be incredibly frustrated trying to use it without accidentally click ads all the time.

I think they'll have a very difficult time creating a mobile app with ads which doesn't completely alienate their user base.

Who's buying? (2)

escay (923320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021393)

The interwebs is filled with stories, articles and opinions about why getting in on the Facebook IPO is such a bad idea. I can't find a single piece that argues for buying FB shares now (if you do, can you please share?). So I'm wondering, if there is such an overwhelming negativity against the shares, what's driving this demand up and making fb add more shares?! brokerage firms are offering pre-orders for pre-screened buyers with a minimum number of orders and still are not guaranteeing issuance of shares. If so many people are saying don't do it, who are all the people who are doing it, and why? I find it hard to believe that so many people are actually ignoring the news and willing to put money down - surely there's something we're missing?

what's the pro argument for fb shares?

Demand is high (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021555)

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1f8d58f0-9ed8-11e1-a767-00144feabdc0.html [ft.com]

Here is one view to think about:

âoeWe want to dump a lot of money into Facebook,â one says, citing peersâ(TM) activity on the site as evidence of its longevity. âoeYouâ(TM)re on Facebook half your day, if not more. Itâ(TM)s a necessity. Itâ(TM)s water, itâ(TM)s death and now itâ(TM)s Facebook.â

People have high hopes for Facebook.

Re:Who's buying? (2)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021565)

Sadly it seems to me that it's the same people that thought pets.com or whatever.com were were good bets, but only now they're slightly more informed. Back in the 90's it was "They're on the INTERNET! That's the FUTURE! CAN'T LOSE!!"

Now it's "Wow they've got the web 2.0, app store, iWhatever and wear hoodies. The kids love them and there's billions of users ... CAN'T LOSE!!"

Nevermind that the beauty of the web is a lack of lock-in ... especially for these free services. A new one will inevitably come out, and all it'll cost people is a few minutes to fill out a new profile. Hell this "new Facebook" will probably be seen as a great way to cull your friends list once and for all ... at least until the "new new Facebook" comes out.

Wait a sec? Isn't Facebook just the new MySpace? So the "new Facebook" will really be the "new new MySpace?"

Re:Who's buying? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021661)

what's the pro argument for fb shares?

Note I'm not buying and not seriously advocating, but paraphrasing a lot of sites I've seen:

1) If the stock price reflects a price per user around $120 each, which seems to be the consensus view, and the earnings per user is known to be about $1.40 per user per year, that's a 1% rate of return. I wish I had a bank account with that high of return. Of course when investing you need to worry about return OF capital before you worry about return ON capital, if you know what I mean...

2) Gaming on FB can probably do better than Zynga, can't it? I mean everyone seems to agree its awful, but its also popular, which implies they almost inevitably have to hit that out of the park someday, don't they?

3) Corporate background checks seem to run in the hundreds. IF FB can take over that market, or even a good hunk of that market, that $120/user is a great price if they get $200/user every time someone gets hired. Essentially a FB hiring tax will be imposed. "You hired someone without paying for a FB background check? Are you crazy?". Then people without FB profiles will need one to get hired, making them more valuable, etc.

4) A somewhat overly optimistic view that FB search might replace GOOG search someday. When the walled garden gets bigger than the wilderness, then... So a valuation around the size of the mighty GOOG seems reasonable, plus or minus an order of magnitude.

Re:Who's buying? (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021715)

The interwebs is filled with stories, articles and opinions about why getting in on the Facebook IPO is such a bad idea.

Because you are probably looking only to the interwebs appealing to a typical slashdot user. The kind of user that understands the consequences of misuse of personal data, and already knows several examples of big internet-related companies that went under. Also, it is easy to understand how facebook value is largely overrated - the _real_ payday is probably now, but only for (not so few) investors. Those are the same investors financing the stories about the opportunity that investing in Facebook is, and how it will be the largest IPO and how it is the next big thing.

so many people are actually ignoring the news and willing to put money down - surely there's something we're missing?

Smart investors will not buy on IPO. Smart investors will _sell_ on IPO (there are a lot of investors shielded as a single entity that will get a piece of the pie). Other smart investors will wait (at least)a week or two until the price settles and there is a clear tendency (both to buy or to decide to sell). Lots and lots of investment portfolio subscribers will make their money (or lose their money) on high-frequency trading and short-selling. Either way, there is plenty of money to be made. Stock exchanges aren't about the companies, they are just another form of gambling brokers.

Re:Who's buying? (1)

dehole (1577363) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021733)

Perhaps one pro would be that you could dump them for a pretty penny just when the Social Media bubble bursts. There were plenty who did the same with the .com bubble, but many who lost a lot. My guess is investing newbs, people who would not ordinarily invest, will buy fb shares, and they will be left holding them when the price crashes.

Probably (1)

ambidextroustech (2597091) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021583)

I am personally going to leave Facebook after the IPO; it's the safest way to leave it. However, the data that they already have from my account will still be accessible by them for a long while.

It's rather agitating that they don't offer shares to Facebook users first since they're going to be the ones shafted if anything happens. And I am certain that several wouldn't mind investing in protecting the online environment.

That's just the free float (3, Interesting)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021597)

By increasing the size of the IPO, they are offering closer to 15% of the shares, rather than 10%.

At a price of $34/share, the market cap will be north of $120 billion, and the price on Day 1 could spike much higher than that, when all the rubes jump into the secondary market.

Facebook may never again have a market capitalization greater than it will on its first day of trading.

Let me ask the complementary question. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021619)

Does anyone think Facebook's privacy will be improved by a massive infusion of investment?

There's a hard upper limit to facebook's growth (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021697)

Worldwide ad spending. The only thing they can sell right now is ... you. But the buyers are spending less than a trillion worldwide annually. That's the total market. Their annual revenue is already about 4B. Realistically, they should be able to grab no more than about double their attention share, and what is that, maybe 5% (generously). That puts about a 25x growth cap on facebook, and assumes that they successfully reach basically everyone who ever sees advertising.

Personally I'll be shocked if they can grow revenue 10x.

Re:There's a hard upper limit to facebook's growth (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021793)

IF they never sell anything but advertising.

But what if they start selling background check services to corporations? Or live monitoring of employees/customers/competitors/whatever?
"Peeking" into teens life for parents (and teachers?) for a hefty fee. Fear sells!
Market research is valuable (FB what car colors do people prefer? or whatever)
Style. Like zynga's virtual stuff, maybe your fb profile can look like an old myspace page full of animations if you send FB $5 for each little animated taggy / yellow ribbon to show your support of Chinese yellow ribbon mfgrs or whatever that moronity is supposed to mean.

If you go newspaper model, then yeah all they have is ad sales. But they can sell a whole lot more than that.

FB is going down. Hard. (4, Interesting)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40021811)

Facebook is caught between a rock and a hard place with regard to user privacy. They already take a lot of flack from users who don't like what they perceive as Facebook's lax privacy protection. Facebook can't simply dilute it further without risking a flood of protest from its users. It can't afford that. That's not to mention the various state and federal privacy regulations already in place that will also constrain them.

Oh, and don't count out Google+ as competition just yet. Google isn't going to declare defeat in the social media space any time soon. They recently completely revamped the Google+ interface and have shown that they're in it for the long haul. They will be waiting for Zuckerberg & Co. to stumble and give users an excuse to jump ship. I suspect they won't have to wait long.

Of course, the investors will be howling for Facebook to bring in the numbers, especially now that GM has announced yesterday that they are cancelling all of their advertising on FB due to its lack of effectiveness. You can bet that move has caught the attention of every other large advertiser. Facebook is in trouble. They have very little maneuverability to enhance their revenue stream and a lot of pressure to do so. Something's got to give and I predict it will not be pretty for either FB's bottom line or their stock price.

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