Facebook raised the roof off Wall Street with its initial public offering, which had a target valuation on the social-media giant as high as $104 billion. The stock opening took place on Friday morning with an opening price of $38 per share under the ticker symbol FB and nearly 421 million shares were offered at the opening.
After the first day of public trading, Facebook became the largest Internet IPO in history, making it worth almost as much as PepsiCo.
But what do you get for over $100 billion as one of Facebook’s 800 million users? What’s the real value in social media?
We reached out to some of our experts for their opinion and advice….
- Elisa Camahort Page
Elisa Camahort Page, Co-Founder of BlogHer
According to BlogHer's research around women and their social media usage and behaviors, Facebook is overwhelming valued for one thing: Keeping in touch with our friends and family. It has allowed us to feel a part of our extended family and circles of friends' day to day lives in a way we never could before. This strengthening of personal relationships is what drives our Facebook usage and buoys our positive attitudes towards technology in general. A secondary motivation to use Facebook is all about fun ... mostly via playing games.
But I would hasten to add that not all social media and online sites and tools are alike. Our research also shows that we turn to other online sites, networks and tools, like blogs, Twitter and forums, for other purposes.
Our biggest advice to brands and marketers is to adjust your approach within a platform like Facebook to match the motivation of users when they're there. They are not there looking for brand information, for example. Sure, they'll take your coupons ... and then they'll move on. If you're engaging on Facebook either engage as a human, or provide a unique fun experience. That's the only way to become part of someone's Facebook routine.
- Joseph Jaffe
Joseph Jaffe, Founder & Partner of Evol8tion, LLC
There are 800 million reasons to validate Facebook. Ultimately it is the world's universal dial tone when it comes to connecting with one another. There is no other "media" platform or property in the history of the world that has been able to amass such a) "reach" b) on a global scale and c) this quickly.
Now comes the tricky part - the fad effect. The MySpace effect. Ultimately, this is all going to come down to barriers to exit. How difficult is it for people to "give up" on Facebook (whether that means jumping ship to Google + or the "next big thing")? To be sure, there will be generational shifts that make Facebook "uncool" or "yesterday's news," especially to younger consumers. Another significant barrier will be the cloud. Who owns your data? Who owns your photos, more realistically.
Facebook's value is in its ubiquity and it's critical mass with respect to connectivity. Their timelines is freakishly cool and scary at the same time.
The value of Facebook to its users is the ability to be part of something bigger and yet instead of 1 x 800m strong community, it's more like 800m individuals who choose to connect with a select group of friends, family, colleagues etc. This is a "collected consciousness" which can effect transformational change ... and people know it.
- Craig Newmark
Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist and craigconnects.org
Facebook gives everyone a voice, and gives everyone a chance for their voice to be heard by hundreds of millions. That's a big way people can work together for the common good. In commerce, Facebook reminds that platform providers need to get out of the way, enabling direct communications between companies and their customers.
- Edward Boches
Edward Boches, Chief Creative/Chief Social Media Officer of Mullen
Facebook is making money in advertising and apps. And given that it's on its way to 1 billion users, it has enough eyeballs to offer a "promising" future, which is what people are investing in more than anything. No doubt they are working on all kinds of things - the interest graph, providing advertisers with more data, etc... that might make them even more revenue in the future. I think it's a great thing - for the start-up community, for IPOs, and for other companies. Maybe not so much for users. But then again, an awful lot of people are addicted to the platform.
Share: Will Facebook live up to the hype? Post your thoughts in the comment section below!
- For more daily expert updates, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook.
- To stay on top of the latest contributions from experts: Sign Up for genConnect.