Facebook is a very popular and leading social networking website which has gained lots of active users since its launch in February 2004. However it has also met with controversies in the past, about being blocked in countries like China, Vietnam, Iran and Pakistan to discourage employees from wasting time in using the service. The social community website continues to stay in news with the latest one doing the rounds about it putting off its Initial Public Offering until 2012. Three experts familiar with the matter confirmed it, saying that it would give more time for its CEO to multiply sales and gain much more users.
Without going ahead with an IPO in 2011 which investors had speculated, Facebook would benefit from an extra year of growth, experts have said. They requested not to be identified as Facebook doesn’t discuss its share-sale plans. They further said that Zuckerberg, the executive who holds board control, could still go ahead for a stock sale any time. The extremely famous social media, which is valued at $24.9 billion has already gained more than 500 million users and is going to use the time to increase its sales to at least $1.4 billion by the end of this year. The sales figure was between $700 million and $800 million last year.
Zuckerberg had said in a television interview two months back that Facebook would go public when it makes sense. However, Jonathan Thaw, one of the spokesmen for Facebook, refused to comment anything on the issue. A member of Facebook’s board, Jim Breyer, had said earlier this year that the California based company Palo Alto wasn’t ready for a sale this year. He had further added that the management was trying to attract more users and developers.
The other challenges faced by the website include management of a rapidly growing workforce and companies like Twitter Inc. providing intense competition. Twitter is also garnering a substantial amount of users, with every passing day. Also, the privacy issue has been a matter of great concern as Facebook continues to contend with extreme regulatory scrutiny over its handling of users’ personal information and data. Not only that, it is up against a lawsuit which contests company ownership. Facebook had earlier stated that the lawsuit is frivolous, if not outright fraudulent. Facebook’s decision to withhold until 2012 may have disappointed technology investors who speculated the IPO in 2011 to encourage other startups to come forward in the public markets. According to a latest data, 40 companies had withdrawn or put off IPOs in the US. It seems to be a very hard time for capital markets as they are swinging every week.
However, Facebook’s IPO in 2012 seems to be a huge watershed for the whole valley, as pointed out by Hollifield, working with venture capital firms and startups. In his own words, ‘There’s the market demand for a very successful IPO’. The Facebook IPO is definitely going to be looked forward to with great interest and crossed fingers.