A Matter Of Taste→
You gotta Fight! For your right!…
Good Week/Bad Week
This week has seen a better week for some – #Facebook – and a worse week for others – #Google. So lets start with the “good”
news: Facebook announced its intention to float on the stock market. It filed papers last week with its intentions of having an IPO. For those of you not familiar with this it means Initial Public Offering i.e. a chance for people to buy the first round of stock options on FB. But, before you get all excited and think “I can make MILLIONS!!” its worth pointing out that an IPO isn’t the same as once a company has fully floated. You see its the “Initial” part that means that not every man, women, child and dog will be buying shares in FB. They will only release a few shares to start with, and they will likely be offered by one or two very large brokerage banks (usually Merrill Lynch or similar). This bank will then only offer those shares to its biggest customers. And when I say biggest I mean BIGGEST: other banks, large firms etc. When Groupon did their IPO last year (and Groupon are only 1/1000th the size of FB) you couldn’t get hold of their shares unless you already had $200,000+ worth of shares already bought through Merrill or one of its partners. So you can probably stop worrying about the FB IPO unless you a) own a bank, or b) have bought multiple millions of dollars worth of stock recently anyway. What will be interesting is that the $3.5Bn worth of stock being offered, once sold, will give everybody a very good idea of what Facebook is ACTUALLY worth. Current estimations place it at somewhere between the $80bn to $100bn mark. Even if its half that Mr Zuckerberg will probably not have to worry about money ever again. Although, to be honest, its probably not much of a worry now.
Episode 5: Return of the Microsoft…
However Microsoft has jumped on a minority bandwagon and starting shouting about (and advertising) the fact that Google will know EVERYTHING about you and will advertise accordingly. Google have got pretty pissed at this as they have been specifically targeting you since 2004 (just send an email to your gmail account with the words ‘holiday’, ‘Italy’ and ‘villa’ in and then check out the ads at the side when you open it) and Microsoft’s Bing is doing very similar things. In fact if you go to Bing’s T&Cs you’ll find..
“We may use search query data for the purpose of personalizing the ads we display to you as you use our services or those of our advertising partners.”
Google rightly point out that they are being very open and honest about it all and accuse Microsft of being the shady ones! Anyway, all this tit-for-tat has bought the matter to the attention of the EU Data Protection Committee who will possibly decide if this change is legal or not. Google, who have had a enough bad press of late think that all product/user advertising based companies should show a united front rather than squabble amongst themselves. Indeed, Google put out a slightly sulky press release about Microsoft stating “My advice to them is focus on your own business,” . Handbags at 20 paces!
Have a great week.