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Facebook Files, Initial Thoughts

By - February 01, 2012

Not since Google’s 2004 filing have so many journalists sped-read one document at the same time, eager to glean any possible insight unique to their particular point of view or publication and rush to post it before anyone else.

Yes, I’m one of those journalists, I suppose, but I know I have to read this thing for any number of reasons, so I may as well use the race as an excuse to force myself into action. I certainly won’t be the first to post, because I had to play pundit on Bloomberg TV this afternoon.

I’ll pore through the S1 in detail in the next day or two, and offer my thoughts then. Meanwhile, here’s my short take from the shoot.


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6 thoughts on “Facebook Files, Initial Thoughts

  1. [...] to the filing: Andy Kessler, Nicholas Carr, Om Malik, John Battelle, Sam Gustin, New York Times technology reporters, The Economist Share [...]

  2. dbv says:

    @john:disqus
    Enjoyed the interview but there was no mention of mobile.  The two big themes
    of the past 5 years have been social networks (exemplified by Facebook) and
    mobile (spectacularly exemplified by Apple).  In the big picture, mobile trumps
    social ie. mobile without social would still be huge.  Yet, Facebook’s S1 says
    about its mobile monetization strategy, “We do not currently directly generate
    any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability
    to do so successfully is unproven”.  Further, 445m people use Facebook’s mobile
    products on iOS and Android.
    The new mobile industry got going in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone
    and in the intervening 5 years Facebook haven’t developed a mobile monetization
    story.  Google started to do so with Android around 2006/2007.  Facebook could
    argue that it doesn’t have the financial resources but it made a $1bn+ profit in
    the last year.  Investors (typically) purchase shares in a high-technology
    company if they believe it will grow rapidly in the future either by market
    share or profit or both.  Mobile is the future but Facebook says that 5 years
    after the new mobile industry got started (and with 445m mobile users) it
    doesn’t have a meaningful revenue stream from this route yet is seeking a market
    valuation of between $80bn to $100bn.  Maybe they do have a mobile monetization
    plan to implement post-IPO but shouldn’t there be something tangible in the S1
    or are investors being asked to take at face value that Facebook recognizes the
    problem and have a fix on it even though they haven’t been able to fix it during
    the past 5 years? 

  3. [...] to the filing: Andy Kessler, Nicholas Carr, Om Malik, John Battelle, Sam Gustin, New York Times technology reporters, The [...]