FB IPO ZOMG!!! In case you've been living under a rock, or holed up playing Diablo 3, Facebook is going public on Friday. For some people that means becoming instant millionaires, for the rest of us it means more ads (probably). What's everyone saying about how this IPO is going to affect the future of Facebook and the Internet at large? Here's a quick round up of the word on the Web:
"It contains three remarkable stats about clickthrough rate (CTR), which is the percentage of the time a user clicks on an online advertisement. The average, these marketers say, is about 0.1 percent. Facebook's CTR is below average at 0.051 percent and Google's is above average 0.4 percent.
While these differences are meaningful and say something powerful about Google and Facebook, let's do the math on those percentages to see how relevant the ads you're seeing really are. For Google, people are clicking on about 1 of every 250 ads they see while searching. For the average, it's 1 out of every 1,000 ads. And for Facebook, people are only clicking once every 1,961 ads they see."
"To justify Facebooks’s $100 billion valuation, investors are going to expect amazing growth in its revenues—something on the order of 25 to 30 percent per year, according to analysts. At the moment, Facebook makes nearly $5 in revenue per user per year, and just $1 in profit per user per year. Because it will be difficult for Facebook to attract far more than a billion users—there are only so many Internet-enabled people on earth—its revenues must grow by selling each user for more money to advertisers.
As my colleague Will Oremus explained last month, Facebook has to find a way to generate an order of magnitude more money from each of us. If it doesn’t make steady progress on that goal every single quarter, its stock price will fall—and even though Zuckerberg is very well insulated from shareholder revolt, a falling stock price will hurt Facebook’s ability to hire the best engineers, to acquire the best startups, and even to attract more ads."
…from Forbes: One company you wont be seeing ads from is GM. The company just pulled all advertising from Facebook saying the ads aren't effective.
"Just days before Facebook’s historic stock offering, General Motors said it plans to stop advertising on the social media site, concluding that its paid ads don’t have a big impact on consumers. GM spends about $40 million a year on Facebook marketing, according to the Wall Street Journal, about $10 million of which is for paid advertisements. It will continue to post relevant content about the company and its brands on GM’s Facebook pages."
…from NPR’s Planet Money Team: Case in point - The restaurant Pizza Delicious, which made a cool -$230 from its Facebook ad campaign.
“Those ads went viral. They got twice the usual number of click-thrus [sic]*, on average. The ad showed up more than 700,000 times. Basically, everyone in New Orleans on Facebook saw it. Twice. Pizza Delicious got close to twenty times the number of Facebook fans they usually get in two days. The guys were stoked. The campaign cost them $240 — almost $1 for each new Facebook fan they got from the campaign. "Is that feeling of exhilaration worth 240 dollars?" Michael said. "I don't know— hopefully, that translates into new business." It didn't. After a long night of asking every single customer where they found out about Pizza Delicious, not one said it was through Facebook.”
*It pains me to have to correct NPR, but I feel it is my solemn duty as a grammar snob (they make us take a pledge). "Thru" barely qualifies as an actual word. It is appropriate only within the context of text messages and IM conversations and the like. In an article for publication such as this, it should be click-throughs, not click thrus.
…from the Chicago Tribune: Pizza Delicious might not be making much money off of Facebook, but California is set to make billions.
“Facebook's IPO will have a "significant positive impact on California personal income in the latter half of 2012, increasing it by 1.7 percent," Brown's budget plan said. The IPO "could result in about $12 billion of additional income for California residents in the latter half of 2012," Brown's plan added. The report by the Legislative Analyst's Office said "around 20 percent of the state's personal income growth in 2012 - and nearly 1 percent of all personal income in the state this year - is expected to be related to Facebook."”