Friday, May 18, 2012

Facebook IPO Part Deux

We should be asking ourselves why Facebook is doing an IPO. An IPO stands for initial public offering. It is a company's entrance into being publicly traded. Companies often go public because they need capital for a monumental direction changing task. It is basically crowd-sourcing before crowd-sourcing was crowd-sourcing. So if we keep thinking on this track, what might Facebook be planning? Well, as discussion in the previous post, they own the social media market, but they only own 1/7 people in the world - and that is rounding up. So how will Facebook grow? They need to tap into new markets. Facebook already owns the social media, but they don't own the actual communication yet on which Facebook runs. I wouldn't be surprised if they were going to become a wireless provider. Yep, I bet you they are going to become a mobile carrier or own a major interest in one and/or offer a Facebook phone. Facebook needs to own the growing economies. Today, you can go out and buy an unlocked $800 Samsung Galaxy S3, but not everyone can do that. There are far more people who will want a smartphone, but won't be able to fork over the grand for the S3 , accessories, and contract and other shenanigans. Facebook needs to penetrate the growing international market which is price sensitive with a phone to deliver their main social media product. I would imagine that the phone would be near free, the contract would be cheap, much of what is going on would be ad supported, and all of your activity would be monitored, collected, and then sold. This might be the initial public offering....of you.

Facebook IPO

You would be a fool not to buy a bunch of Facebook Stock. Facebook today is at 800 million users. That sounds like a lot, but when you think about it, that is less than 1/7 people on the earth. There certainly room to grow further. As smartphones spread, Facebook will grow as well. A major untapped market is the growing economies and the developing countries across the globe who don't have ubiquitous internet yet. Facebook is also the largest existing social media network. It defined the industry and continuously fends-off its competitors. Facebook itself is a strong company with good prospects.

But a network is only as powerful as its users. Many people who are not signed on are older folks who don't see the value in social media. As tomorrow knocks on our doors, these old mindsets will expire with the people who hold them. Turn your attention now to all the Kids who are still eating Gerber baby food. They will have Facebooks, and Facebook subscriptions will grow as a new generation of kids sign up for the service. Facebook Might not grow into a publicly traded giant now at $38 dollars per share overnight, but give it another 10 to 20 years, and you will be seeing likes *everywhere*.