Saturday, May 12, 2012

Facebook: data use policy and App Center

As Facebook is wrapping up the IPO roadshow, it is making changes to get more aggressive in maximizing shareholder's values.  Some of these changes are updated privacy policy (now called data use policy by Facebook), App Center announcement and experimenting with paid news update.  All these changes are designed to explore and expand Facebook's advertising reach and effectiveness.

Mark Zuckerberg sporting his signature hoodie
during IPO roadshow;
will Facebook IPO pop or bust?
Updated privacy policy, aka data use policy, opens the door for Facebook to share their user data with other advertisers to better target the ads to Facebook users even when users are surfing sites other than Facebook.

App Center announcement creates social app store that can be accessed from any device that can harnesses all social elements from Facebook.  Think of Apple App Store, but instead it's any app that uses Facebook API, whether it be iPhone app, Android app or browser app.  All applications will be quality controlled by Facebook, and rated by Facebook users.  Facebook also plans to support application developers to generate revenue by either charging for apps or creating in-app purchase similar to how Apple created third party developer community by creating revenue model.

Experiments with paid news update is limited release to measure user reaction to the idea of paying to "highlight" post to increase the likelihood of your friends seeing the post.  It is meant to demonstrate Facebook is serious about maximizing the revenue sources from 900 million Facebook users.

Will these changes be enough to justify close to $100 billion market cap that Facebook is looking to demand?  We'll soon have the early answer to this question by next week.  What happens after that will depend on how quickly Facebook can execute on these upcoming changes.

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