Facebook stock is trading around $33.50 a share as I type this post, down $4.50 from its Friday initial public offering price.
I don’t want to call myself Nostradamus, but the events of the past few weeks, along with this commentary from L. Gordon Crovitz in today’s Wall Street Journal reminded me of an item I posted just over two years ago.
My theory at the time was that Facebook someday would have to sell out its users’ (more than 900 million worldwide) personal data in order to become profitable. While this anticipated move is both logical and predictable, the user backlash will be strong, ugly and likely elicit government action that will slow
Crovitz’s opening joke says it all:
Q: Why did Facebook go public?
A: They couldn’t figure out the privacy settings either.
CNN recently aired/posted a story on “why people are leaving Facebook,” which cited five reasons why a growing number of people are deactivating their accounts:
- Maintaining a professional image
- Focusing on “real” communication
- Shedding an emotional burden
- Avoiding a time-waster
- Maintaining personal privacy
Little wonder a recent Associated Press-CNBC poll indicates Facebook may be a passing fad.
My own prediction is that Facebook will become similar to a television network, attracting a smaller number of heavy users (probably women ages 24-45), and that many other demographic groups will abandon the network in favor of the next big thing.