Facebook’s future

IPO, Timeline and Open Graph--what Facebook is soon becoming

Eight hundred forty-six million users later, Facebook is now ready to step it up to the next level. That next level includes being a public company, like its rivals Google and other tech giants.

With the IPO, Facebook is set to become worth nearly 100 billion dollars, and with the Initial Public Offering, Facebook is making more changes.

Recently, Facebook has announced new changes to profiles called Timeline. This new design is made to act as a way of placing major life events intermixed with your daily updates to showcase your life. The change in setup is part of Facebook trying to increase user usage of its site.

Not everyone has had to accept Timeline yet since it is gradually being instituted across the user base.

“I still have the older version of Facebook, but I like the idea of being able to include your major life events. However, I think it’s too much work to go back and input events from the past,” Preston Taylor, Ferris sophomore in pre-pharmacy, said.

Currently, Facebook has 483 million active users that go on at least once a day. All those users have uploaded 100 petabytes, which for those who are not tech savvy is 100 million gigabytes of photos and video. There is an average of 2.7 billion “likes” and comments a day.

One challenge Facebook faces with its IPO is the prospect of growth. In the U.S. and U.K., Facebook already has a 60 percent market presence so investors question how much the company will increase its value when it’s already the powerhouse that it is.

At the same time Facebook announced its IPO, they announced an expansion to their Open Graph protocol. This early system is how you can hit a “like” button on third-party websites and the activity is reflected back on your profile.

The expanded version of Open Graph involves adding a third-party website’s app to your Timeline and the activity on the other website is visible to your friends. For example, if you watch a movie on Netflix, listen to music on Spotify, or pin something on Pinterest, it will all go to your Timeline.

In response to this new cross-web integration, Hannah Picklo, junior in health care systems administration, said, “I don’t mind it. For instance, with Spotify I like that I can see what music my friends are listening to and I can check that out and see if I’d like it too. Though when everyone posts every little thing they find on the Internet, it can be a bit excessive.”

The IPO for Facebook has opened up its financial records, showing that the company has been profitable for the past three years, including a one billion dollar profit last year. No one knows if the IPO will be the start for investors to be profitable or another web company bust, just on a much larger scale.