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What 21 experts say Facebook will do post IPO

Posted on May 20, 2012 by Rob Petersen

“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” James Baldwin

The 2 minute video shows Facebook and its founder in the early days. What will they do now as Facebook begins its journey as a public company; one with 901 million active users and one of the 25 biggest companies in the country?

Here’s what 21 experts have to say:

COMPANY CULTURE

  • Our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. - Mark Zuckerberg
  • I don’t think it’s in their DNA to want to be a public company. I’m hoping that they don’t change in such a way that they become more risk averse, that they focus too much on the bottom line. In order to stay relevant, they need to keep that entrepreneurial spirit – Greg Borrud, CEO Seismic Games
  • It will be hard for all of the newly minted millionaire not to feel that they have arrived, and their journey is over. Google faced this problem after their IPO and managed aggressively to mitigate it. – Nat Burgess, Geek Wire

MONETIZE

  • Their mission now is to “monetize” the business. Facebook has plans to turn its users into customers. – Bianco Bosker (Huffington Post)
  • Google gets about $30 per user in annual revenue; movie service Netflix does even better — $148.20 per year. And Facebook? A mere $5.02 per user per year. The challenge the company faces is bringing that revenue per user number up significantly, without alienating the user base the way ­Myspace did. – Barry Ritholtz, Washington Post
  • With a market capitalization of $104.9 billion. Subtract out its assets like real estate, servers, and cash from that total value of the company, and Facebook’s entire advertising business is worth $82.3 billion. Dividing that by the roughly 900 million active users that the site last disclosed, I calculate that each of those individuals’ advertising value is $91.44. - Andy Greenburg, Forbes
  • It could be like PayPal or going to eBay. You could start to use Facebook as a wallet for offline transactions. Facebook could become a payment platform. - Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social
  • There will be more pressure for it to monetize its platform, but it will have to be careful not to put its users off as they are its most valuable asset. They must ensure brands that use its platform that they are posting content that is engaging – Jan Rezab, Socialbaker

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Facebook’s IPO has been called a “watershed moment” for the industry. That’s because it truly legitimizes social media for businesses. As a result, C-level executives are going to be putting more money toward social media and marketing. - Dave Kerpen, Mashable
  • People come to Google looking for something. Often it is something they want to buy. Users come to Facebook to interact with their friends. The ads don’t answer their search question. On the contrary, they get in the way of enjoying the social experience which is where Facebook needs to always be the most relevant. - Nat Burgess, Geek Wire
  • In order for Facebook to kind of make good on evaluation, it has to grow its revenues by 25 percent a year, at least. Most people expect Facebook to attract a lot of advertisers to be kind of a good platform for advertising. The question is whether it’ll be an unprecedentedly good platform. And  it’s unclear if it’s going to be able to do that. – Farhad Manjoo, Slate magazine

MOBILE

  • Facebook is the best positioned to offer the first browser-level mobile development platform. In fact, Facebook just announced it. It’s called the App Center [and] lets you install apps on Facebook’s mobile site. Facebook’s investment in Instagram and Glancee further demonstrates its dedication to winning in mobile. - Justin Kistner, Webtrends
  • The most important thing is they should figure out what are the areas that are core. The areas that are core, they have to make acquisitions. They would want to own those. Mobile is a prime example — which explains that Instagram buy. – John Malloy, venture capitalist at BlueRun Ventures

PRIVACY AND TRUST

  • One upside to the IPO in this regard is that any decision to change privacy settings (which they have done many times) will be public knowledge as they will have to share that information with their stockholders. – Mary Alexa, Consumer Bell
  • Facebook will have to talk more openly with its users; surprising, last-minute changes to the social network’s privacy settings will be poison for the company’s stock price. – Mario Grobholz, Secure.me
  • The challenge in maintaining the level of trust required to keep people on Facebook won’t be an easy path. Facebook is all about sharing data. As much as that delights us, and we become avid users of social media platforms, it’s challenging our social norms. –  Trevor Hughes, CEO, International Association of Privacy Professionals

DATA AND ANALYTICS

  • Facebook is about to go into hyperdrive to make sure the data it collects more effectively services the advertisers to deeply penetrate the lives of its user base. They can’t grow their business unless they extract more data. - Jeff Chester, Executive DirectorCenter for Digital Democracy
  • Selling data from the back end presents its own problems. Facebook has to let purchasers and investors know what kind of saleable demographic trends and correlations they can mine from their unprecedented data stores—but the more valuable that information seems to be, the more Facebook will draw the scrutiny of regulators and the ire of users. - D.E. Wittkower, Wall Street Journal

NEW PLATFORMS

  • Expect to see Facebook make several key acquisitions to extend its platform, especially in the areas of mobile and gamification – Debra Donston-Miller, The Brainyard
  • Facebook’s got essentially the “Brewster’s Millions” problem. They’ve got so much money already, with just the cash that they’re throwing off from operations, that they don’t actually need the money that they’re going to raise in this IPO. I would love to see Facebook get into TV, I would love to see Facebook get into the payments space. - Rocky Agrawal, independent analyst

GOOGLE VS. FACEBOOK (IS IT THE NEW COKE VS. PEPSI?)

  • Last year, Google was the company stepping all over Facebook’s turf with the launch of Google Plus and the social layer it represented. Will Facebook start to push into Google’s information organization and discovery territory in 2012 or 2013? And for what it’s worth, Google’s actually up 7 percent since the Facebook’s IPO. – Alexix Madigral, The Atalantic

To explain all the fact and figures that go into determining a digital company with a 105 million valuation and who get what, here is an great infographic from Anson Alex.

I appreciate this great advice, counsel and wisdom for the experts and I’d appreciate yours. What are some steps you think Facebook will take post IPO?

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