Social Goes Public: The Facebook IPO

It was fall 2004, my junior year of college, and I was at a party. I was conversing with a new friend when she asked me enthusiastically, “Are you on The Facebook?” I don’t remember my exact reaction, but I’m certain it involved a clueless look and something along the lines of “the what-book?” I could have never imagined at that moment sipping my purple punch, I was essentially experiencing a milestone in my life.

That was 8 years ago and these days, it’s hard to remember a world without Facebook. The service, which started as a private social network for ivy leaguers and eventually evolved into the massive public community it is today, is really more than a service – it’s a commodity. It has become our telephone, our newspaper, our photo album, our address book.  Facebook is a part of our everyday routine.

Today marks another milestone. After much anticipation, Facebook is going public. (And no, this has nothing to do with privacy settings). Mark Zuckerberg’s college side project is set to hit trading desks at 9am and it’s expected to be big. In 8 short years Facebook went from a dorm room to being a company valued at over $100B.

This morning’s bell will be one that is heard ‘round the world.

To “ring in” the big day, we’ve analyzed billions of events from our network and distilled down a couple of fun facts about Facebook’s popularity.

Some general stats about the popularity of Facebook:

  • In April, Facebook drove 40% of all social click traffic in the US including FB shares, likes and sends.
  • The Middle East shares to Facebook 33% more often than the rest of the world.
We also analyzed data to see how people are feeling about the Facebook IPO:

  • Since Monday the overall sentiment worldwide for the FB IPO is positive.

  • Since Monday people who work in traditionally tech savvy areas of the US are most bullish about the FB IPO while those in the Midwest might be feeling less excited.

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  • Most social mentions about the IPO have been what the price of the FB stock will be and where people can buy stock.
  • Seems a lot of the action for people buying FB shares today will be on E-Trade, Charles Schwab and Ameritrade*.

*Social data should not be used to make trading and investment decisions

  • I can’t even remember who first told me about Facebook but I think it was back in 2007. I knew something had changed dramatically when my brother and my mom got on there without me ever telling them about it. Neither had ever bothered with any social media platform prior to FB.

    Will be curious to see how the IPO does over the next few months.


  • I don’t want to be a party pooper but I fear Facebook will start to be a flop in terms of making money.
    I say this for these two reasons.

    1) The share price is massively over inflated (especially in a recession) due to the site been known around the world and used by so many of us and
    2) Many people use FB on mobile devices making targeting adverts at them nearly impossible for advertisers and seen as advertising is the sole way for FB to make money and it cannot do this I fear it will lose money fast.
    One last point about FB and money is that it can potentially put off millions of users if the ad’s become intrusive and in your face (excuse the pun!).
    I don’t want it to fail like so many other IPO’s have but the initial pricing I feel is wildly over optimistic.

  • One has to wonder about how many users – and how much more growth – facebook really has in front of it.

    We’ve speculated that a lot of the recent growth has been spam and marketing accounts – facebook is in a bit of a catch 22 because if they allow spam to grow they’ll start irritating their users, however if they don’t, then they’ll start to see slowing user growth. Read somewhere that the user increase from 2009-2010 was bigger than the user increase from 2010-2011 (or similar stat – not declining in popularity but not growing as fast either.)

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if those who actually use facebook were given the first opportunity to invest!

  • I really thinks that facebook will fail in 5-10 years. But now it seems that it’s good. Anyway, addthis is a great service.

  • Whether facebook fails or not, only time will tell. I don’t think itwill though on the basis that it is an online business and the business model is such that companies pay for the possibility of appearing before a massive audience as opposed to guaranteed hits and conversions. That is where the business models of advertising works very well. Against that it is clear that the IPO was over priced as it fell pretty shortly thereafter.

  • download365

    I thinks that facebook will fail in < 5 years….

    Maybe 3 or 4 years…

  • I reckon facebook won’t fail within 10 years. We will see though.