Thursday, May 17, 2012

At the IPO: 5 Warning Signs of Facebook’s future

Mirror, mirror on the wall ....
What is Facebook's future?
The Facebook initial public offering (IPO) is the news this week, but for those who can buy stock (a privileged few) and those who cannot (most of us) this may be a good time to pause and look at some signs that this stock sale is not the best thing for Facebook or social media.

Five stories and opinions I read this week have me concerned about the future of both:

As Facebook grows, millions say, 'no, thanks', by Anick Jesdanun, Deputy Technology Editor at the Associated Press: If Facebook is to live up to its pre-IPO hype and reward the investors who are clamoring for its stock this week, it needs to convince some of the resisters to join. Two out of every five American adults have not joined Facebook, according to a recent Associated Press-CNBC poll.

Does going public change the way Facebook views our private data? by Shawn Hess, WebProNews: Facebook is a social network, if advertisers can’t take advantage of your personal connections and personal preferences what good would it be? A recent Associated Press-CNBC poll found that almost 65 percent of Facebook users either weren’t sure or didn’t feel safe purchasing goods through Facebook.

GM to drop Facebook ads due to low consumer impact by Ben Klayman and Alexei Oreskovic, Reuters: General Motors Co. says it will stop advertising on Facebook, because Facebook's ads had little impact on consumers. "This does highlight what we are arguing is the riskiness of the overall Facebook business model," said Brian Wieser, Internet and media analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

Facebook's Future May Still Be in Play, by Peter Suciu, E-Commerce Times: Half of Americans believe the social network giant Facebook is just a passing fad, and a similar number believe the expected asking price in its upcoming IPO is too high, according to an Associated Press-CNBC poll.

The Future Is More Than Facebook, opinion by Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes on The Wall Street Journal: The time to make big returns in Facebook and in social media has passed.

So, what do you think? Is the future of social media a bigger and better Facebook? Or will the IPO be the high-water mark for Facebook and, possibly, social media?

Or, if you are a Facebook user: Is Facebook an essential part of your life? And, what, if any,  changes at Facebook would make you leave it?

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