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Facebook Businesses Social Networks The Almighty Buck

Facebook Expected To Go Public Next Week 192

Posted by timothy
from the lotta-new-millionaires dept.
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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Facebook Expected To Go Public Next Week

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  • Innovate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tidepool (137349) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:23AM (#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.

    • Facebook Innovation? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:41AM (#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?"
      • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:51AM (#38856857) Homepage Journal

        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:Innovate? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fri13 (963421) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:08AM (#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? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rrossman2 (844318) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:20AM (#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

        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @11:08AM (#38857277) Journal

          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? (Score:4, Informative)

            by kyrio (1091003) <slashdotNO@SPAMlurkmore.com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:16PM (#38858141) Homepage
            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.
            • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:33PM (#38858973) Journal

              Some of us are 50, so we don't have every phone number of every person we knew and liked from the 1970s.

              Yes, GeoCities was great. That might explain why it is gone.

              I'm not saying Facebook is great, I'm saying they are doing a better job, and managing to make a profit, something the other "technologies" never manged to do.

            • by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:57PM (#38859479) Homepage Journal
              I believe internet usage statistics make your assessment incorrect.
            • by korean.ian (1264578) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:09PM (#38859559)

              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.

              Just because your friends are shallow, doesn't mean that everyone uses Facebook in a shallow way.
              I love that canard about calling old friends. Some of us have moved out of our mom's basement - I have friends in East Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. When it's convenient for them to receive phone calls, it's almost never convenient for me to make them. The reverse holds true as well.

          • by sydneyfong (410107) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:27PM (#38858227) Homepage Journal

            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?

    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:45AM (#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.

    • by xeoron (639412) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:55PM (#38858441) Homepage
      I am no fan of Facebook as a platform, but you have to admit their contribution to OSS and open hardware designs has brought much to the tech community.
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:24AM (#38856699) Journal

    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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:53AM (#38856871) Homepage Journal

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

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:56AM (#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

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:25AM (#38856709) Homepage

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

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:33AM (#38856763) Journal
      Facebook does quite a lot of research in data mining. You probably don't see it because you're their product, not their customer.
    • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:36AM (#38856779) Homepage

      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.

      • by tidepool (137349) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:46AM (#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.

      • by Slashdot Assistant (2336034) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:31AM (#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.

    • by tukang (1209392) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @11:01AM (#38857235)
      They wrote a php to c++ source code transformer - https://github.com/facebook/hiphop-php [github.com]
  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:25AM (#38856711)

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

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:25AM (#38856713) Homepage

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

  • Timothy You Dolt (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:28AM (#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.

  • by oztiks (921504) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:28AM (#38856735)

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

  • by drolli (522659) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:39AM (#38856791) Journal

    .com bubble is calling.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:43AM (#38856821) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:46AM (#38856843) Homepage
    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.
  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:49AM (#38856853) Journal

    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.

  • by florescent_beige (608235) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:55AM (#38856893) Journal
    Another sociopathic tech billionaire...that'll solve all the world's problems. I wonder what self-serving laws he's going to buy.
  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:16PM (#38857667) Journal

    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.

  • by marcroelofs (797176) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:41PM (#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.
  • by MrP- (45616) <rob@@@elitemrp...net> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:05PM (#38858061) Homepage

    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_.

  • by Kynde (324134) <[kynde] [at] [iki.fi]> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:20PM (#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.

  • by unixisc (2429386) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @02:28PM (#38858627)
    Dow? Nasdaq? S&P500?
  • by wrencherd (865833) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:24PM (#38858915)
    . . . for "It's Pretty much Over", isn't it?
  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:09PM (#38859557) Homepage

    They're forcing themselves to use Timeline and there's no other choice. Duh. Old news.

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