A spammy report surfaced over the weekend stating Facebook was planning on charging for membership to the social media page. The company addressed this today by stating:
It is free and always will be”.
The false rumor stated that there will be three different types of memberships, each charging a different price per month. The outrageous text did not take long to appear on many walls, pages, and internet directories.
On a separate note, other reports surfaced today stating that Google+ may have raked in a total of 38 million members to date. The new social media site acts as a bigger and better version of Facebook, offering things including video chat, “hangout”, self-broadcasting, search, and more. These features Facebook lacks, however in a direct response, the company rolled out a whole bunch of updates including “Timeline” last week during their F8 summit in San Francisco. CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered the keynote speech.
The company is expected to roll out their IPO next year and experts suggest this may be the most profitable IPO of any major firm in recent years. In fact, it may rival the 2004 IPO of industry giant Google, where shares were first offered at $84 per share. Facebook’s IPO is still a ways away thus the share offering is unknown, but is surely expected to shoot to the moon considering how buy-happy investors were during LinkedIn’s IPO earlier this year.
Ever since Groupon filed their S-1 filing with the SEC back in early June, investors and social media experts have been wondering when exactly the official IPO date will be released. Groupon, the “deals and discounts” website, was offered a $6 billion takeover from Google in December 2010, clearly rejecting it because they feel as though they can grow tremendously in the online deals arena.
The reported IPO is anticipated to raise $750 million on the Street. The company is valued at $30 billion, although with recent competition stemming from Facebook deals (released in March), and the company still has yet to return a profit. In 2010, the company posted a net loss of $413.4 million, and a net loss of $113.9 million during Q1, 2011. Will investors pay attention to the financial data that makes Groupon a questionable investment? Most likely not. When LinkedIn went public on May 19 at an open price of $45 per share, it sky rocketed to over $105 a share during the first day of trading. At one point, the market value was 641 times their net income, which would have placed Apple’s valuation at $3 trillion!
Investors are clearly excited with social media IPO’s, often ignoring the fundamentals of the company. Groupon may be in that same conversation. The company is facing intense competition from Facebook Deals and other smaller firm deals sites, which explains the slowdown in revenue.
The official date has not been released yet, although investors believe it will be within the next 2 months. The much anticipated Facebook IPO is scheduled for April, 2012.