The Facebook IPO – Every Facebook member to become a shareholder?

We all have bad memories of IPOs in Ireland, eircom’s one in particular. It’s looking likely that Facebook in the near future will go the IPO route. Facebook, not one for doing things the conventional way, even if the convention is about 3 years old could do something unexpected again. Imagine if they gave the members of Facebook options to be shareholders? They already listen to their people and even after all the hulabaloo over Beacon (which was more about a lameass “democrat” organisation finding a new target. you’re tossers) and other issues, they amended things to keep people happy, they just caught Google out by checkmating them on OpenSocial and they have a few more clever things on the radar to make their users happy and make money from it.

It almost makes sense they’ll do what Google did and have a dutch style IPO but also offer cheaper shares to their users or give them options to buy.

What would that do to their stock though? Would 50Million shareholders mean that their whims, if tweaked, could see the stock go up and down like a yoyo or would it mean they just ensured 50M people are devoted to making the site work and recruiting everyone else? Would the stock would remain very stable as each shareholder feels they have a connection to each other and the Facebook board? What about the traditional institutional investors?

Whatever whichway, I bet the Facebook IPO will be fun.

5 Responses to “The Facebook IPO – Every Facebook member to become a shareholder?”

  1. Branedy says:

    Could be a ‘marketing’ move to compensate for the ‘advertising’ snafu that has improbably impacted their membership drive.

  2. tipster says:

    What would that do to their stock though?

    Somebody must have done the econometric modelling on that. (If you find anything on that, do let us know.)

  3. a) they won’t
    b) they can’t

    They won’t because their general disdain for their user community (as evidenced by a continuing stream of privacy snafu’s) indicates that they are unlikely to want to “share the love”. Also remember they have Microsoft and a hedge fund on board as investors neither of whom are big into “free” (beer or speech).

    They can’t because the logistics of a global accessible share pool are generally the last thing you want to organise at IPO time. The SEC also puts constraints on who can buy shares (VA Software fell foul of this one) and generally demand that investors are savvy enough to understand fully the meaning of “share prices can go down as well as up”.

  4. Niall O'K says:

    I started feeling a bit too ‘old’ for Facebook, then I realised it wasn’t that – I’m just too busy.

    Can’t find the time for Facebook or bebo any more and can’t honestly see much point in them, so I cancelled my accounts.

    When will something replace these so-called ‘social networking’ sites as the ‘next big thing’? … I, for one, will welcome it…

  5. Treasa says:

    Does FaceBook have any other revenue stream than advertising? Cos if it does, I can’t see it.

    I’ve mixed feelings about the whole social networking thing. FaceBook and Bebo don’t, from what I can tell, lend themselves to interactivity as much as socialnetworking v1 ie forums and bulletin boards did. They are very asynchronous and FB in particular has all this extraneous application rubbish which is like too much trouble between poke this, five thousand different message walls and all that lark. Plus it’s possible for people you don’t like to add you as friends and you spend five minutes feeling guilty about either a) rejecting them b) ignoring them or c) lying to the world and saying they are your friends.

    I prefer my safe little blog world.