Facebook “Roadshow” Begins, IPO Set For May 18

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Facebook IPO is set now for May 18. Prior to that date Facebook executives will be on a roadshow selling the IPO to brokerages and institutional investors.

According to the Journal CEO Mark Zuckerberg ”will make some appearance on the roadshow, though he won’t attend all meetings.” The heavy lifting will be by COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman.

It will be a huge IPO, probably “oversubscribed.” Investors will be going out of their minds to get in on it (how long the stock is held is another question). Out of the gate the company will have a roughly $100 billion valuation.

However among tech journalists, selected financial analysts and professional contrarians there’s a Facebook backlash going on. Many are pointing to slowing Facebook growth and otherwise ticking off a list of “what might go wrong,” as Facebook seeks to justify its huge valuation and demonstrate growth.

What will be very interesting to watch is where that growth happens, and whether Facebook gets into search in earnest. We learned last week that some higher ups at Microsoft (though not Steve Ballmer) tried to shop Bing to Facebook, which politely declined. As an aside that raises all sorts of questions about Microsoft’s long-term commitment to search.

My view is that Facebook is compelled to get into search marketing — at least on its own site. It will also seek to much more aggressively monetize the traffic from its more than 500 million active mobile users.

For more on Facebook usage figures, revenues and other “by the numbers” data, see the company’s amended  S-1 filing and our previous story.

Related Entries

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Facebook | Facebook: Advertising | Facebook: Business Issues | Facebook: Mobile | Facebook: Statistics | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.redmudmedia.com/ Ralph du Plessis

    How does the hobby trader get hold of these shares I wonder? I think the “cooling off” speak is just to lower the opening price so that investors make even bigger gains when it hits the streets, but for lowly day traders like me, I can’t see how we will get a fair or rather worthwhile price on the open market.

  • Damani Brown

    You log into your broker site… Serch Facebooks ticker. Click BUY and your done… This is of course when the stock is released. 

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