Now that its paperwork has been filed with the SEC, Facebook is gearing up for what will undoubtedly be the biggest IPO the tech world has seen since rival Google went public back in 2004. It is a development that everyone is watching, including the users and brands that sign into the site on a daily basis. There is no telling when everything will be finalized, but marketers can learn a lot about Facebook from the information that has recently been revealed in light of the filing.
Facebook is More Powerful Than You Imagined
You already know that Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. What you may not know is just how powerful it truly is. The company says it now has more than 800 active users around the world, 400 million of whom login to use the site everyday.
Of course these users do not qualify as paying customers, but they are just as valuable considering that they attract brands and advertising revenue. comScore shows that Facebook now has roughly twice as many users in the U.S. than Google had at the time of its IPO, a cause that not only means now is the best time to go public, but highlights the tremendous value the network now offers to marketers.
Facebook is as Sticky as They Come
More impressive than the number of Facebook members is the amount of time those users are devoting to their favorite social network. According to data recently compiled by Nielsen, the average visitor is spending nearly seven hours on Facebook per month. This is in comparison to a little more than an hour and 30 minutes for people on Google, which is actually less than they spend with its long-time rival Yahoo.
The point is that Facebook is not only getting people to visit, it is convincing them to come back time and again. If the site can keep up its stickiness after the IPO, it just may become an even more powerful marketing tool than it is now.
Facebook is Not Just a Network; It’s a Platform
The MySpace phenomenon was cool while it lasted, but many experts knew it was only a matter of time before the once prominent social pioneer fell flat. Facebook on the other hand, has demonstrated tremendous staying power, and this is mainly because it doubles as both a social network and extensible platform.
The platform offers a robust collection of development tools that support the creation of apps, as well as integration with third-party sites and features. Facebook is evolving as the greatest web platform, and if it is able to get the developer community on board after the IPO, it could mean big things for marketers, and the overall user experience.
Some members of the marketing community are optimistic about the Facebook IPO. Others are skeptical to say the least. Despite all it has going for it, the platform isn’t as big a hit with brands as it may seem, especially in comparison to Google, which has been able to thrive at getting corporations to spend. It will be interesting to see what the IPO holds for Facebook, and marketers moving forward.
Image credits Katrina.Tuliao and Crunchies2009 via Flickr