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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Like or Dislike? Facebook Stocks for Sale

The best comment that was related to Facebook’s move to stock exchange today, was the following one: “Why is Facebook going public? They couldn’t figure out their privacy settings either!”
Yes, you got that right. I found that comment on Facebook!

Does it mean that Facebook has finally reached a respectable status like any other IT and website brand on the market, just like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! and others? Does it mean that Facebook is turning into a profit running company like any other grand company with stock options on sale? Does it mean that any Facebook user will have to add “Facebook Stock options” as a friend in order to buy stock options?

Mark Zuckerberg’s move to Nasdaq was maybe a logical one, with Facebook’s success in the social media market it has reached a level in which it cannot be longer considered as a mere social media website, but as a vast global company. With nearly 1 billion users worldwide it represents the most powerful network on the planet. With today’s move, Facebook has reached a level where competitors like MySpace, Friendster, or smaller locally based social media websites have failed to achieve.

For sure, hardly any normal Facebook user will buy stocks, since these are mostly reserved for the big capital investors. But those who do can anticipate a boost of the stocks’ value within the first days of trading, but only as long as the hype for Facebook stocks are kept alive. It won’t take long until this hype fades and Facebook will be just as vulnerable to rapidly changing exchange and market fluctuations as any other company trading stocks worldwide.

The question is: does it bother us at all?
Not really, at least not as long as you don’t buy any stocks. Only the real enthusiast and 100% networked people using every single app that is linked with Facebook would consider buying stocks. For all the other types of users there is simply no need; at least not as long as they continue to behave on Facebook in their regular ways, according to their type classification. In fact, the German daily newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau” has identified five of them:

Type 1: the “Farmer-Mafia-Hitman: he posts around 150 status updates per hour, just to inform us about his progress in Farmville or Mafia-Wars

Type 2: the Network-Feeder: he is Mark Zuckerberg’s ideal user, sharing every single detail of his life, which app he is using, where he has just checked in via Foursquare, or which pictures he has just taken with Instagram. Of course, none of his friends cares since they all unsubscribed from his news feed.

Type 3: the Dual-Profile user: One profile he keeps to share “reasonable” information, pictures, and status updates with his family, his boss, his wife/girlfriend; on the other profile, each of his friends keeps wondering what that guy was doing at last night’s party.

Type 4: the Data-Protector: he persistently ignores all friend requests since he assumes a potential threat to his fundamental right to protect his data, his identity, and all of his personal information. Since he literally has no friends and no one posts anything on his wall, he assumes that Facebook is totally overrated.

Type 5: the Globetrotter: the most hated Facebook buddy you can imagine. He annoys his friends with his extensive travelling diaries, posting every single stage of his journey, just to show how dull and empty his friend’s lives are compared to his. Status updates go like this – especially by using the IATA codes: “Going from LAX to SIN via CDG….spontaneous stop-over in DBX and CPT“ (translated: “Going from Los Angeles to Singapore via Paris… stop-over in Dubai and Cape Town”).

However, in a certain way we can consider ourselves special: our lives - which we share with everyone else on Facebook and with every company linked with it - is now being traded.

Like or dislike? Personally, I miss an additional Facebook-button: “I don’t care”

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