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Will Facebookโ€™s IPO Change Anything?

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Two days ago Facebook files papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission to make an initial public offering (IPO). That means the company is committing itself to making its profit and loss statements public for the rest of its life. But will that change the way the world networks?

Likely not.

Facebook has already become the 800 million pound gorilla (it has 800 active million users worldwide). It will likely grow and the money it collects from its IPO will likely help it reach some strategic goals, but the core aspect of its product will likely not change much if at all.

Maybe it will get better and maybe it will get worse, but change? Letโ€™s see โ€ฆ

  • Facebook offers personal profiles to anyone willing to sign up for an account and provide certain specific private information to the company based on its userโ€™s term of service.
  • Companies can set up a brand page and promote themselves to users through that page.
  • Developers can build apps that interact with Facebook and allow users to engage with marketers, businesses, and savvy development agents.
  • Facebook also offers paid advertising models for businesses wanting to reach new prospects.
  • You can interact with Facebook through you desktop computer, laptop, smart phone, or tablet.

What else could Facebook offer? What else likely to be offered as a result of the private company becoming public?

Of course, new technologies could lead to Facebook expanding its offerings to its consumer base, but that would happen anyways. The company already has made billions of dollars so the money it collects from the IPO will not likely give it much more financial clout that it already has. So why go public?

It is likely that investors and shareholders realize that certain information is going to end up public anyway so why not be the first to make the disclosure? Itโ€™s a good political move for Facebook to go public, but donโ€™t count on the IPO changing the service in any drastic way. Social networking will continue as it has for the last five years.

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