Facebook’s big IPO: Part 2

With Facebook looking to raise about $10 billion in an IPO, we went to our Zintro experts to ask how this move might change the social media and technology landscape.

Pooky Amsterdam, a social media expert, says that Facebook will ride the current climate and attempt to capitalize on being the global place for social networking. “Being so large and having the penetration it does around the world and across demographics, Facebook has become the social media equivalent to more traditional events like World Cup Soccer, The Oscars, or in America, The Super Bowl. Unlike these one time events, Facebook is a daily and persistent place where all postings are available 24 / 7,” explains Amsterdam. “And when you consider it – 900 million people in one place with exposure to ads 24/7 – it seems to be golden in opportunity. In a way this is misleading, as it isn’t 900 million watching one thing. However with these numbers, certainly Facebook is to social media as these giant viewership events are to broadcasting.”

Amsterdam says that she sees Facebook as still evolving and growing, but at some point this rapid rate of growth will decelerate because of ultimate penetration to the market of those who have the technology. “Because the rate of Facebook’s growth has been what has fueled the market, even when those numbers are no longer growing exponentially, news and stock prices will decline. So I do think that Facebook should come to market soon and exploit its moment in the sun,” she says.

Amsterdam points out that there are not enough products or services at the top that have numbers like Facebook, so all attention and wealth is focused here. “An IPO of this size means that Facebook has to deliver revenue from its end users. EMarketer in a recent report, said that while Facebook derived $3.8 billion in advertising this year that was $205 million less than was predicted in January 2010. Facebook credits are fundamental to the financial health of this platform, which were triple what they were last year at $140 million. In order for these numbers to keep growing the platform needs people who can afford to pay them.”

Sheila Hamilton, a social media and broadcast expert, says that Facebook’s IPO has an extraordinary upside: the ability to attract new talent, respect among the Fortune 500, and the attention of investors and advertisers worldwide. “The downside is unrealistic expectations created by a $10 billion valuation. If Facebook under performs, Mark Zuckerberg could be the next Steve Jobs, squeezed out by his own board.”

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