Today in Social

The biggest tech IPO ever turned out to be pretty wisely priced, and Facebook didn’t move much in its public debut. We had surveyed GigaOM readers prior to the big day on their outlook for Facebook’s prospects in the tech industry over the next 2-5 years. I think the hype may have weighed too heavily on their minds. We were trying to assess Facebook’s role as an industry force – not its stock performance – and the survey respondents thought Facebook’s success would be disappointing (40 percent) or moderate (35 percent). They felt that challenges in making a business out of increasing mobile usage, and the potential for a consumer backlash based on privacy concerns outmatched Facebook’s opportunity to build from its base as a social technology platform with an advertising-driven business model. My GigaOM Pro colleague Paul Sweeting thinks Facebook needs to diversify its revenues (as did the survey respondents). Still, overall I’m more bullish, because Facebook is the rare example of a real network effect business. Check out our Flash Analysis.

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David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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