First there was the declined 1 billion dollar buyout offer from Yahoo and rumored 2 billion offer from Google.
Then the move to open Facebook to everyone (not just those with an .edu address),
According to AdRants
, traffic has nearly doubled since opening it up to the masses and those over the age of 34 make up 40% of it’s user base.
Most recently, a job posting on Facebook for a Stock Administration Manager:
Facebook is seeking an experienced Stock Administration Manager to join the Finance team. This is a full time position located in our Downtown Palo Alto office and will report to the Controller.
Responsibilities include (in part):
· Manage the administration and compliance of all employee equity compensation programs such as Stock options, Restricted stock, RSUs, Warrants
· Strong knowledge of SEC, FASB, and IRS rules and regulations relating to stock plans and insider trading (including SEC Section 16, SEC Rules 144, 145 and 701, FASB 123R, and IRC Sections 83, 409A, 421, 422 and 423)
Does it all add up to an IPO filing? The indications are there but the buyout rumors with Microsoft (who they currently have an agreement with) appear to be just as strong. Now whether the company will IPO or agree to be bought out by Microsoft as recent rumors suggest, they will have to find a better way to generate income from its user base. ValleyWag has been covering the ad issues with Facebook, which has struggled with low quality advertising and low click through rates.
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan outlines the current agreement with Microsoft and makes the case for a Facebook IPO in 2008 in great detail. Great post Ashkan!
My personal feeling is that Facebook would NEVER sell out to Microsoft and risk pissing off it employees and user base but we shall see.