Facebook... love the social network or hate it, finally went public today. Many investors are running wild to get their hands on some of the newly minted shares of the social media behemoth. Shares were set to open up at $38 a share, and according to CNN, the stock started trading at $42.05 when the stock began trading at 11:30ET. Shares are expected to jump much higher in the early going.
Some of the news I have heard today say that buying Facebook is a suckers bet. Big corporations and the rich get access to the stock first at the lower dollar amount, and turn around and sell it back to "the people" at an inflated price. I am sure there is a lot of that going on, but over all I think this is great for Facebook, Zuckerberg, and all the Facebook employees that will become millionaires today. In fact, I stand up and applaud... (and secretly wish I would have thought of it!... oops, guess that is not a secret now.)
The future of Facebook as a public company is what intriges me. Some people compare Facebook to Apple, but Apple has a definite product they are selling, not to mention a rabid fan base. What is it Facebook sells to consumers? Sure they have the game network, as well as the paid advertising platform... but at the end of the day, what will make this company worth the expected $104 billion dollars to you and me? And how does the love hate relationship users of the platform have, in regards to privacy, come into play?
I'd say the closest comparison to Facebook in the stock market world would be Google. Google makes most of their money from advertising... but they have jumped into consumer products with the Android platform etc. Will Facebook eventually come up with a product or service that people will want to actually buy? Or will Facebook even need to? Time will tell I suppose.
According to CBS news, today Facebook will be the 23rd largest company in the U.S. (as measured by stock market value) putting Facebook ahead of shopping giant Amazon.com. However, Facebook ranks 909th in terms of annual sales globally. Pretty interesting don't you think?
So, for better or worse, today may very well be known as Facebook Day.
What are your thoughts... will you be buying shares of Facebook? Do you think the need to pander to investors will help, or hurt the social giant? Let's keep the conversation going below in the comments!
Until next time... Doc