All last week it couldn’t be avoided – every newspaper, TV station, magazine was talking about the Facebook IPO.
But I never did read much on what it means to GovLoopers…i.e. what the Facebook IPO means for government agencies.
So here we go, Steve’s list on what the Facebook IPO means for government agencies:
1) More interesting data – Now that Facebook is public, every quarter it will release a quarterly report that should be filled with interesting data on # of users, # of mobile users, and general trend. This data is a great snapshot of the trends overall in digital engagement as Facebook is such a large player. Pay attention to these numbers.
2) More lobbying – Mo’ money, mo’ problems. Facebook has already started to beef up it’s DC office (and in capitals across the country). The larger you get, the more likely you are going to run into government issues around privacy, security, and monopoly. Microsoft dealt with these issue once it grew in size, same with Google as it grew…Facebook is up next
3) More monetization – The blessing and curse of Facebook for government agencies is that it is free at its core service (most agencies don’t advertise much). As Facebook matures as a business, it is going to continue to have to find more ways to monetize its audience (from mobile advertisement, Google adsense model, focus on credits). As government agencies don’t pay Facebook for its services, it’s going to have a hard time pushing back on Facebook if it disagrees with these changes. So keep an eye on what’s going on.
4) More help? Good luck – While many gov’t employees wish there was more support for Facebook pages, I don’t think the Facebook IPO is going to mean more support for your troubles with your Facebook page. Facebook has a great DC staff and a great Facebook page for government agencies but at it’s most basic level it’s a small team that’s limited in resources and scope. If you have issues, use your GovLoop or other gov’t network to talk to other agencies with the same issues
5) And in the end…not much – Generally, I think people overestimate the short-term and under-estimate the long term. In the short-term, Facebook is not going to change much. Zuckerberg has the company focused on creating great product and they really pay attention to the users. So don’t freak out too much. But definitely pay attention as over the next 2-3 years, Facebook will introduce both new features and also new monetization models and government agencies will have to figure out how to play together.
What do you think? Will Facebook change after the IPO?