Well, it’s almost three months since Facebook officially became a publicly traded company with shares available for sale on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The social network raised what has been estimated to be around $16 billion, but despite the hot start on Wall Street, its value has declined rapidly ever since. In fact, just yesterday, Bloomberg estimated that Mark Zuckerberg has lost $600 million since the IPO, with Facebook stock now down 48% from its IPO price of $38.
Facebook will undoubtedly have to make some big changes now that it has gone public and given the disappointing stock price performance. While nothing significant has really changed for marketers as of yet, they may soon start feeling the effects. Some possibilities:
Going into the IPO, it became apparent that Facebook was desperate to justify its value and keep investors happy. In order to do this, it had to present a viable business model, and the model that has been producing the best for the company up to this point is advertising. Before even going public, Facebook introduced a number of new advertising products designed to attract brands and drive revenue. Now that making money is more important than ever, marketers can expect even more advertising tools to help them extend their reach and connect with their audience.
2. More Competition
Plummeting stock value aside, Facebook’s IPO solidifies social networking as a market that is primed for big business. This could lead to it attracting more of the brands that have been looking for a legitimate reason to take the plunge, so to speak. With a plethora of advertising tools now available and even more in the queue, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more brands making a financial investment in the platform. Unfortunately, this could mean more competition and subsequently, less visibility for marketers using Facebook to drive engagement and traffic by organic means.
3. New Tools
As you may have heard, Facebook recently purchased photo sharing service Instagram for a reported $1 billion. Acquistions such as this are likely to continue now that the company has gone public and needs to diversify its assets as much as possible. This could lead to good things on the marketing front if it implements that new technology with efficiency. Just imagine if the company acquired a hot piece of web property like Quora or better yet – Pinterest. Acquisitions such as these have the potential to enhance the platform’s functionality big time, and offer even more value for marketers. It will be interesting to see how Facebook approaches current and future acquisitions following the IPO.
Stability is Best
While change is almost certain at this point, the best thing for marketers would be Facebook maintaining some stability and making as few changes as possible. The company needs to appeal to the brands who are willing to invest their time and resources into the platform, so changes such as the timeline, for instance, which resulted in a dramatic shift, may be less likely to occur so fast. This stability would give marketers the opportunity to get settled in and make an impact without major disruptions.