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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?"
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by marcosdumay (620877)

        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.

        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:54AM (#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?"
          • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @10:12AM (#38856979)
            Sure it is, just ask Apple.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by TheRaven64 (641858)
              Except that in Apple's case, they actually do innovate. In fact, I can think of a department in Apple that probably innovates as much as the whole of the rest of the industry. What other company has a legal department that would think of patenting screen-shaped as a shape for a tablet?
          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            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.

          • It does not require popularity. Well, ok, it does, up to the point that somebody must think it is usefull. If nobody thinks that, ok, it may still be inovation, but it is failled inovation.

            Anyway, if somebody thinks it is better than the alternative, then it is innovation. The reciprocate and the inverse aren't always true or always false.

        • by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @11:06AM (#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: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)

              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)
              I believe internet usage statistics make your assessment incorrect.
            • 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.

          • 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)

      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? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Macthorpe (960048) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @11:55AM (#38857543) Journal

        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.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        I don't go to Facebook to see someone's whole life. I go to see their current status.
    • by xeoron (639412)
      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@@@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

      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 noth

  • 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.
      • 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?
    • 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)

        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 y

      • 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 dece

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

      • by decora (1710862) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:53AM (#38856873) Journal

        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?

        • by vlm (69642)

          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.

          • by Marcika (1003625)
            The data at shadowstats is bullshit. A back-of the envelope calculation will show it. Take their "shadow CPI" average over the last 30 years, compound it, and multiply a shopping basket from 30 years with that number; the outcome will show you how the numbers are made up from thin air by a guy who wants to sell newsletters.
      • by oztiks (921504)

        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 :)

      • by Znork (31774)

        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 adva

    • by conner_bw (120497)

      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 b

      • by oztiks (921504)

        Probably the fact that facebook hasn't had as much b2b contact as say google had. Adwords is what really kept google afloat, all other sponsored advertising companies pale in comparison to adwords really.

        To not steal the words of the late Kurt Cobain "I'm too busy acting like I'm not Naive. I've seen it all, I was here first."

        Where does facebook have to go? Where google / bing / yahoo hasn't already been?

    • 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.
    • by huge (52607)
      If you are sure about this, I suggest you short the stock and make some money out of it.
  • 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.
    • 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.

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by marcosdumay (620877)

      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.

    • 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.

    • by vlm (69642)

      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 ge

      • by swillden (191260)

        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+.

        • by vlm (69642)

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

          Yeah because the MBA types always move in lockstep herd-like mentality, so having to pay 0.1 bitcoin to make a post on G+ would act as a nice filter and make the Mighty GOOG even mightier.

          You know what else would be hilarious? How about if your ISP/telco/cellphone provider peers directly with us so we pay no transit costs, then you get free service, if not, we post your telco's customer support hotline number and bill you $1/day for access to pay for bandwidth until your telco peers with us. This would be

          • by swillden (191260)

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

            Yeah because the MBA types always move in lockstep herd-like mentality

            Except that Google has vanishingly few MBA types, and basically none in any decision-making positions.

  • 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 MRe_nl (306212) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @11:09AM (#38857281)

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

    • by jbwolfe (241413)
      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.
  • 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.

    • I really, really hope you are right. I'm willing to bet that the terms of the IPO will be designed to keep the Zuck in control, much like Google's IPO.
    • by glwtta (532858)
      security breeches

      Is that some kind of Victorian chastity device for men? Sounds unpleasant.
  • 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_.

  • 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.

  • Dow? Nasdaq? S&P500?
  • by wrencherd (865833) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @03:24PM (#38858915)
    . . . for "It's Pretty much Over", isn't it?
  • They're forcing themselves to use Timeline and there's no other choice. Duh. Old news.

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