Marketwired Blog

Seven Ways an IPO Will Change Facebook

By now, you’ve probably know as much about Facebook’s impending IPO as you’ll ever want to know. Putting aside the $100-billion valuation and the fact the graffiti artist who painted Facebook’s initial office is now worth $200-million, it will be fascinating to see how Facebook is going to change after it becomes a publicly-traded company.

Here’s a list of how Facebook could change post-IPO:

1. Due to disclosure rules, senior management will have to be even more measured about how they communicate and what they talk about. Off-the-cuff conversations with the media and bloggers could be a thing of the past. In their place will be well structured messages and tightly-managed events. This may not be a big departure from how Facebook currently operates but it will have to be extra diligent about its communications activities.

2. Investors and analysts will be drilling down into Facebook’s financial and balance sheet. As much as Facebook’s S-1 filing may have disclosed the company’s financial results (as well as some juicy bits), there will be as much attention paid to documents that Facebook has to file, including quarterly results, due to being a publicly-traded company. It means the wall Facebook built around its operation will become less impenetrable.

3. There will be constant expectations for Facebook to produce improved financial results and, as important, meet expectations. Wall St. is an unforgiving animal. If a company fails to meet expectations, the stock will be punished. It means Facebook will be under a lot of pressure to keep driving revenues and profits so expect to see new activity to generate sales.

4. The competition, particularly Google will have new insight into how Facebook operates, where it’s making investments and the moves it is making to become more competitive. In an industry with lots of cat and mouse activity, any new competitive information is good information.

5. Driving more advertising revenue will become even more important. As much as Facebook has been aggressive to attract more advertising, it will need to be even more strident. You can expect a major push, as well as higher advertising rates to keep the ad engine stoked and burning hot.

6. Facebook will have to find ways to for mobile to generate revenue. With more than 400 million people accessing Facebook via a mobile app, Facebook will need to come up with ways to drive revenue. The National Post’s Matt Hartley has a good story looking at Facebook’s “conundrum”

7. Employees – 1,000 of whom have become millionaires on paper – will start to cash in and check out. Although there has been a private market to sell shares, an IPO will make the market even more liquid when Facebook. If the shares jump after hitting the market, it would not be surprising to see many Facebook employees cash in. Armed with millionaire status, many of them will likely leave Facebook to pursue new interests or start new companies. The same thing happened at Google after its IPO.

How do you think being public will change Facebook?


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