The roadshow itself was said to be uneventful, with CEO Zuckerberg and other executives answering just a few questions about the company’s strategy in China, its acquisition of Instagram and its plans for mobile products, the Wall Street Journal reported.
When it comes to the Instagram deal, Zuckerberg reportedly told potential investors that he’d “do it again.”
Facebook also visited Boston Tuesday, but — according to the Boston Herald— Zuckerberg was not in attendance. The company is also scheduled to head to Palo Alto, Calif.
For your own taste of what the company’s selling, you can also visit its online roadshow, which is more or less a half-hour’s sentimental journey outlining the company’s vision of connecting the world.
As the social networking behemoth nears its IPO, Tsukayama wonders whether privacy concerns could affect the company’s revenue.
Now that Facebook has set its share prices, valuing the company between $77 billion and $96 billion, the question is whether it will be able to convince investors that it’s got a sustainable business model, can keep growing and find new ways to generate revenue.
And because advertising revenue is such a big part of Facebook’s business model, user privacy will have to be a major consideration for potential investors.
“If you use Facebook, you’re the product, not the customer,” said Bill Kerrigan, chief executive of the privacy company Abine, in an interview with The Washington Post. “The company’s financial success requires it to collect more personal information and make available to advertisers.”
Facebook itself is clearly aware of how important it is to keep up a good reputation on privacy, especially after settling with the Federal Trade Commission over complaints that it was making data public without user permission.
In the list of risk factors that the company has put in its S-1 filing, the company has listed that “changes in user sentiment” about the network’s “privacy and sharing, safety security or other factors” could have a bad effect on the company and its revenue.
As the company continues to build upon its vision of becoming a platform for application developers and other Web services, it will have to carefully consider how best to protect privacy. More partnerships with third-parties can lead to more revenue, but it also means that users will be sharing more information about themselves through apps.
That’s not inherently a bad thing — Facebook is a sharing platform, after all — but it does open up more potential for consumer confusion about managing their privacy settings. Users can manage their app settings through Facebook’s privacy menu. But many skip over or may simply not understand the data sharing terms they agree to when they use their Facebook account to log into an app such as Draw Something or Spotify.