Sunday, May 20, 2012

Defriending Facebook

I spent much of the past couple of weeks posting status updates to my Facebook timeline castigating the social network's initial public stock offering, which came down Friday. Here's a sample:

-- Four ways the IPO will change Facebook forever: 1. More ads. 2. Ads on your mobile. 3. Less privacy. 4. More FB-generated content.

-- FB testing a feature that charges you to send messages to your friends: It's called 'Highlight' and it's currently live in New Zealand. See, not everyone sees all your posts; just the ones that FB's algorithm decides to publish in their -- not yours, theirs -- feed. So you can pay extra to make sure everyone sees a specific post. Maybe.

Or you can just send them a free e-mail.

Here's more on why using FB is soon going to be costing you money.

-- Facebook changes their privacy policy yet again. Hint: it's not to provide you more privacy, or even more control over what little privacy you still have.

-- Nine ways criminals use Facebook.

-- Deleting a FB app doesn't delete your data from their system. This is probably a good time to be reminded that everything you upload to FB -- and I mean everything-- becomes their property. Not yours. Theirs.

-- FB users 'like' and 'share' too much, according to Consumer Reports. And it's not just college kids on spring break intoxicated and partially nude. That post you liked about diabetes? Your insurer is able to purchase that data from FB, and they probably aren't going to do so to help you manage yours.

-- So given all that, would you be surprised that a majority of its users don't trust Facebook?

More than 40 percent of American adults log in to the site — to share news, personal observations, photos and more — at least once a week. In all, some 900 million people around the world are users. But many of them don’t have a very high opinion of Facebook or trust it to keep their information private.

-- Or would you be more surprised that despite that, Facebookers aren't quitting on them?

Those links are what I posted to FB just from last week alone. Truth to tell, I wanted to see if it was possible to get FB to defriend me on the basis of this criticism. Turns out the answer is no, so far at least.

But as you might imagine, this bevy of bad news gave some negative momentum to Friday's initial public offering.

-- 5 reasons not to 'like' FB's IPO.

-- Warren Buffet stayed far away.

-- The AP's finance writer said just don't do it.

-- There are some other dirty little secrets.

-- HuffPo established the Tech Bubble Death Watch in honor of Facebook's IPO.

-- At $38 per share, the stock was valued at over 100 times earnings. That compares with Apple's 14 times, and  Google's 19 times. Thus the headlines Friday became 'overvalued' and 'under-demanded'. And in case you needed a refresher course on the 'level playing field' for small investors...

It's as if no one at Facebook ever heard of MySpace.

Yes, FB is limping into Monday, where the share price could dip below Friday's closing of $38.63, and with a summer bear market rearing its head. I suppose that last is good news if you're a contrarian.

I would be interested to know how my posts about Facebook and their myriad of fuck-ups affected the FB algorithm for what my interests are. I doubt whether Markie Z will be sharing that with me. Besides he'll be busy honeymooning for a few weeks.

Wonder if the newlyweds are scouting domiciles in Singapore?

Update: Oh, there were some techno-difficulties at the NASDAQ on Friday morning, providing a convenient scapegoat for the lack of momentum.

Despite hours of testing, Nasdaq failed to detect a problem with the way the trading system processed order cancellations. Greifeld said Nasdaq is "humbly embarrassed" about the technical glitch, and plans to redesign its IPO systems. He added that Nasdaq will ask the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its plan to repay investors who were hurt by the computer error. 

But read a little further and you find this.

On Friday lead underwriter Morgan Stanley stepped in to keep the stock from falling below its $38 IPO price, and at the end of the day Facebook was up only 0.6 percent. Sources say the bank won't continue propping up the shares this week. There may also be more fallout from the Nasdaq glitch. Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management told Reuters: "I don't know if people stepped away at some point because they just couldn't execute in a clear manner, and that Monday we will have some follow through of people that weren't executed and still need to sell."


Matt Bramanti said...

"Your insurer is able to purchase that data from FB, and they probably aren't going to do so to help you manage yours."

No? Wy would they rather it get out of control? Because insurance companies love money, but not as much as they love murdering paranoiacs?

PDiddie, aka Perry Hussein Dorrell said...

You never fail to crack me up, Matt. You must be an actuary.

Dr. J said...

Oh, come on PDiddy,
You know damn well we are already on some kind of watch list. I figure, we might as well have fun with it...

Dr. J