As more questions arise about the handling of the bungled Facebook IPO two weeks ago, the largest question still remains: where is Facebook heading? And for Facebook users, the uncertainty of what changes will come to the social network as it moves from a private company to a publicly traded corporation.
Users are concerned about how the company will satisfy its shareholders and advertising is the obvious source for generating revenue, but not only are there debates about the effectiveness of advertisements on Facebook, but the company risks losing users as their Facebook pages get cluttered with more and more advertising and frustrated users close their accounts.
But another revenue stream, payments, is often overlooked. Currently, 15% of Facebook’s annual revenues are gained from payments, generally with users using Facebook Credits to purchase games or other items on line.
There is speculation that Facebook will expand into digital media such as TV shows, movies, music and e-books to expand these revenues which totaled over $557 million in 2011.
Can Facebook stay cool while being corporate? Only time will tell if Facebook can continue their massive internet popularity or if they’ll become just another MySpace.
Sylvia McNamee is blogger at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.
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