As each day in the month of May goes by, we move closer to what will surely be a historical day not only in the day of public trading, but also in the technology community. This week, it’s being said that the long-awaited Facebook IPO is set to go forward–or you could subscribe to the other side of the coin that says it’s going to be delayed. All the players are moving into position in what many say could help the social network raise close to $100 billion in capital. The asking price is rumored to be between $28-35 and Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook will stop taking orders tomorrow for the IPO–two days ahead of schedule. It’s being said that the potential investment could have Facebook have a market value that would surpass that of UPS as the “most valuable company in history to go public in the United States” (based on market capitalization). Not bad for a site that is mainly geared at helping folks communicate with each other.
All in all, one of the missing pieces has just come into play–since their IPO announcement months ago, Facebook has been waiting on approval from the NASDAQ stock exchange in order to be listed for their IPO. Today, Facebook filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documentation which stated that their stock has been registered and approved for listing with the NASDAQ. So sometime this week, the world’s largest social network will begin trading under the ticker symbol “FB” (how fitting).
CNN Money reports that Facebook is on track to begin trading publicly starting on Friday, May 18 and in what may seem to be more of a common occurrence, Facebook founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg will not be in New York City to ring the opening bell, instead opting to remain at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters to do the honors. There is precedent to doing this, as Zynga pulled the same stunt in December by ringing the bell from their San Francisco headquarters. Perhaps Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t want to get that famous photo opening the market or travel to New York? Or maybe he just cares too much about Facebook and wants to continue focusing on building out the social network’s mobile strategy (because obviously they’re scared of the mobile space). It could also just backfire on the company since there are some investors who have come to question Mr. Zuckerberg’s demeanor throughout the investor road show. Regardless, one thing is for sure, whether it’s this week or next week or however long, Facebook is sure to go public and the employees will soon realize their dream fulfilled, and find themselves a lot richer too.
Looks like Facebook is on a tear over the past week. Sure, no one at Facebook can really talk about the stuff that goes on behind the scene at the social network, but over the past few days, they’ve been making some definite waves that seems to be surely affecting the way people view the service and potentially their stock price. First, it was Facebook bolstering its photo capability with a monumental acquisition of leading photo service Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Then, Facebook announced perhaps a life-saving and historic event–promoting being an organ donor. And now, it’s news that Facebook is moving its check-in feature beyond the traditional sense and making it more about introducing you to new people. Just how does the company plan on making this happen? By acquiring proximity app service Glancee.
Considered one of the latest products that could have been a “star” at this year’s South by Southwest, Glancee emerged onto the scene with some enormous potential, but also within a crowded marketplace. A couple months ago, there were nearly a dozen different of these so-called proximity applications, from market leader Highlight to others like Sonar, Banjo, Intro, EchoEcho, and several others, Glancee is probably the first such application to see an exit. Available for both iPhone and Android devices, Glancee states that it “makes it fun and safe to discover people nearby who share friends and interests with you.” Perhaps it was Glancee’s direct integration with Facebook that caused it to be appealing for an acquisition, since Glancee intended to leverage Facebook data to help you find people of interest instead of just showing you who is around you–it’s giving you some additional relevancy in helping you grow your social network.
Announced first by TechCrunch just moments ago, professional social network, LinkedIn, has just announced its acquisition of presentation/document-sharing powerhouse SlideShare for $119 million. This deal is something that will certainly benefit the professional community on LinkedIn–161 million members strong–in their attempt to build their social graph on the site. Sure, you could already add the SlideShare application to your profile, but now with SlideShare part of the LinkedIn family, members could theoretically go ahead and not only add their presentations to their profile, thereby making it more portfolio-like, but also implementing it on company pages, groups, etc.
In their press release, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said the following:
Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity. These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We’re very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn.
Don’t be evil — that’s Google’s unofficial motto. But while some companies may take that motto to simply mean “don’t do anything bad”, some might argue that rather than being passive about avoiding evil, companies should actually be more active in combating evil and doing more good. For Facebook, doing good and giving back seems to be very much in part of their effort to give back to the world. Sure, their service allows people to connect themselves with others from around the world, but there’s always more that can be done and one might suggest that Facebook has strived to be good global corporate neighbors. Just take a look at recent events to gain a glimpse at what the power of Facebook has had over our lives–the service has helped directly/indirectly shake the foundation of some of the most totalitarian regimes across the Middle East during the famous Arab Spring event. And Facebook’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not made it a secret that he intends to donate some of his wealth to charity, having signed onto billionaire Bill Gates & Warren Buffet’s “Giving Pledge”. And in 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg famously went on the Oprah Winfrey Show and announced that he was giving $100 million to the Newark Public School System as part of his effort to help Mayor Cory Booker revive the struggling education system.
Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have clearly been corporate model citizens helping to illustrate that companies can do good for the public and that more can be done instead of simply pledging never to be evil–there are other philanthropy efforts that need corporate help and it seems that Facebook is leading the way.
You know it was probably only a matter of time before someone did it. In light of all the popularity and hype over services like Instagram, Pinterest, and even Tumblr, somehow the industry has managed to forget about a special set of people. They were first recognized in the era of email marketing when folks using UNIX and PINE accessed their email. Just who am I talking about? Why, the text-only generation…the people who never liked looking at images in their inbox with HTML emails and those that slows down their download speeds. And that’s why over the past few days, some interesting Twitter accounts have popped up to (supposedly) make it easier for people to understand what people are sharing on some of the most popular services on the Internet today.
The first one that apparently popped up is called Text-only Instagram and it was created by Josh Helfferich, a man who found it appalling that people would need to be subjected to endless bad photo filters and having to engage with followers. He created Text-only Instagram as a means of taking what people would normally see on Instagram and converting it into a text-based feed without all the “messy and superficial social interactions“. All you need to do is go to the service’s Twitter account and you’ll be able to see tweets of some of the millions of photos shared on Instagram, but without needing to worry about the Lo-Fi, Amaro, Hudson, Earlybird, Brannan, Inkwell, Hefe, or Nashville filters mucking up the image.You can just use your imagination to see what people are photographing and let THAT be your memory.