Women are heavier users of social media sites than men, at least in the U.K., according to a new survey of 2,000 Brits by BT (British Telecom). Over half of female respondents said they use social network sites like Twitter and Facebook, compared to just 34% of men surveyed.
Another day, another column about Facebook, whose stock price just keeps going lower -- $28.26 at the time of writing, down 26% from the IPO price of $38. And it turns out the stock price isn't the only thing falling: a look at comScore numbers from the last couple years suggests that Facebook's growth in the U.S. may well have peaked over the last year, and might even be declining.
I swore I wasn't going to write about the Facebook IPO again, but its stock just keeps doing interesting things -- namely, falling like a dead bird. Today Facebook dipped below $30 for the first time; the stock was trading at $29.01 at the time of writing, down 24% from its IPO price of $38. Ouch!
Listen, as a reporter/blogger/whatever, I am sympathetic to the need to have something to say: you can't be a reporter without anything to report. I am also aware that local TV news reporting isn't necessarily, um, the crown jewel of our profession: when "If it bleeds, it leads" is a professional rule of thumb, you're in pretty icky territory. But I really can't tolerate the tactic of fastening on the latest trend, turning it into a bogeyman, and then whipping everyone into a frenzy over it.
At this point, it might have been better if the Facebook IPO just never happened -- and not just for the investors who feel swindled by Morgan Stanley's selective sharing of information about Facebook's near-term prospects, or NASDAQ's monumental glitches on the first day of trading. Facebook's lackluster stock market debut appears to be dragging other social media stocks down with it, even when they're not apparently connected to Facebook.
What is it with bankers screwing the pooch nowadays? Facebook's long-awaited initial public offering is rapidly heading south, and not just in the value of the stock, which was trading at $31.85, down 16% from its IPO price of $38, at the time of writing. Now Facebook and its underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, are being sued by investors and may also be in trouble with regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
(The following verses are composed of quotes from bloggers, analysts and other commentators.) It's going to be a bumpy ride: look at the valuation... boy it was awfully rich. At the moment it's not living up to the hype, there must have been some sober second thoughts about this.
The ominous downward trend in Facebook's stock price visible on Friday continued on Monday with a substantial decline below its IPO price of $38. At the time of writing, Facebook shares were trading at $33.65, down 11.5% from the IPO price and 25% from its Friday high of $45. That works out to about $12 billion in lost market capitalization from the IPO price, and $30 billion from the Friday high.
Bloggers and reporters who write about social media have often been accused of overstating its importance relative to other things like food, water, and shelter. But the widespread angst provoked by Facebook's somewhat-lackluster initial public offering confirms that we were right all along: Facebook is at least as important as all of human civilization, if not more so.
Talking about Google+ has always been a strange experience, sometimes bordering on Zen-like paradox. It is both a Facebook competitor and not a Facebook competitor; similarly, it is a social network but also not a social network (because it is, rather, a "suite of social tools"). To the list of questions with diametrically opposed answers we can now add the big one: "Does anyone use it?"