Facebook shares down 31 percent since IPO 1 year ago – Facebook shares closed today at $26.25, up $0.12 from yesterday but down 31 percent since the company’s initial public offering on May 18, 2012. Despite a new focus on monetization, particularly on mobile, Facebook hasn’t instilled confidence in investors in its first year as a public company. Many of its recent products, such as Gifts, Graph Search and Home, have launched to mixed reviews. And with all still in limited release, none has emerged as a clear source of future revenue. Still, Facebook has gone from having no ads on mobile to having mobile account for about 30 percent of all advertising revenue in the first quarter of this year.
Facebook users change profile picture show support for same sex marriage – As the U.S. Supreme Court met this week to address same-sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign encouraged users to change their profile pictures to an image of a pink equal sign on a red background in support of marriage equality. Since then, the image and hundreds of variations of it have gone viral across the social network. Facebook’s data science team found that there was a 120 percent increase in profile photo changes on Tuesday after the HRC launched its campaign compared to the previous Tuesday. More stats are available in a note here.
Report: Zuckerberg gets political - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly involved in forming a political advocacy organization with other Silicon Valley executives, including Joe Green, co-founder of NationBuilder and Causes, who was Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard. The group is expected to work to influence issues related to immigration, education reform and the economy. Zuckerberg has reportedly pledged as much as $20 million to support the Super PAC.
Amazon buys Goodreads – Amazon this week announced its plans to acquire Goodreads, a social reading community and book recommendation platform that integrates with Facebook’s Open Graph. The service will continue to operate under the Goodreads name and its CEO Otis Chandler. Amazon reportedly paid $150 million for Goodreads, which has 16 million members.
PMD Marin Software goes public – Ad tech company Marin Software today went public after raising $105 million from an initial public offering priced at $14 per share. The stock opened at $19 per share and closed at $16.26. Marin began in 2006 as a paid search company, but was an early Facebook Ads API partner in 2010, and it continues to hold an ads badge as part of the social network’s Preferred Marketing Developer program.
Facebook updates mobile SDKs - Facebook this week released version 3.2.1 of the Facebook SDK for iOS and version 3.0 for Android. Both include a number of bug fixes and other improvements. The iOS SDK now supports frictionless requests without importing the deprecated headers. More information is available from the company’s developer site.
A U.S. district judge today dismissed four cases brought against Facebook by shareholders claiming the company failed to disclose material information ahead of its initial public offering in May 2012, according to Reuters.
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan said the investors did not have grounds to sue because they were not Facebook shareholders at the time the alleged wrongdoing occurred. However, a number of other claims are still being brought against the social network, and the plaintiffs could file new “derivative” versions of their cases within 20 days.
Plaintiffs claim Facebook hid facts from investors and potential investors about how its growth projections would suffer from increased mobile usage. However, Judge Sweet said the company had indeed ”repeatedly made express and extensive warnings” about mobile usage trends and potential effects on revenue growth.
In a separate ruling, Sweet decided that a proposed class action against NASDAQ OMX Group for damages related to Facebook’s IPO should stay in his court. The plaintiff had wanted the case to be returned to the New York State Supreme Court. Investors say they suffered losses because of glitches in NASDAQ’s system on the first day of Facebook trading.
That case is In re Facebook, Inc, IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, MDL No. 12-2389.
Facebook roundup: employees sell shares, anti-trust suit over Credits, Nasdaq compensation plan and more
Facebook execs and board member sell some shares – With the end of an employee lockout this week, some top Facebook executives have sold portions of their shares. COO Sheryl Sandberg sold less than 2 percent of her shares for more than $7.4 million. Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane sold 256,000 shares, which is more than half his entire stake, raising $5.4 million, and General Counsel Ted Ullyot sold 149,075 shares, getting more than $3 million. Early investor and board member Jim Breyer sold $81 million worth of Facebook stock earlier this week. Breyer still holds more than 7.2 million Facebook shares. VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer filed an SEC document today indicating that he is not selling any shares at this time. Facebook stock closed at $21.18 today, down nearly 9 percent from last week.
Facebook sued over Credits - Kickflip Inc., which does business as Gambit, sued Facebook this week over claims that the social network broke antitrust laws with its Credits program. Business Week says Gambit was the leading virtual currency and payment-processing provider to social game developers. Gambit claims Facebook’s decision to require Facebook Credits in 2009 destroyed a “vibrant and competitive market.” The case has been filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. Facebook says the claim is “without merit.”
SEC to look more closely at Nasdaq compensation plan – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it would extend proceedings to review Nasdaq OMX’s $62 million compensation plan following the exchange’s botched handling of Facebook’s initial public offering. Brokers say they collectively lost around $500 million because of issues on the day of the IPO, including delays in orders being put through and confirmations being returned.
FB underwriters spent millions to support stock on IPO day – Facebook’s underwriters may have spent about $66 million supporting the stock’s price on the day of the company’s initial public offering, according to a blog post by economists Thomas Eisenbach and David Lucca. The report explains how underwriters likely put in bids at $38 and $40 per share as the stock threatened to fall below the $38 offer price. This would mean underwriters spent about 40 percent of their underwriting commissions. “If this estimate is correct,” the economists say, “underwriters’ reputational concerns and obligations to the firm may have outweighed their short-run profit motive.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his first interview since the company’s IPO at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF event today.
In addition to talking about the company’s mobile development, the Facebook co-founder spoke on a number of topics varying from the disappointing IPO performance, the potential of Facebook search and what the future has in store for the social network.
After going public at $38 a share in May, Facebook stock lately been trading below $20, even dipping below $18 earlier this month. Zuckerberg was candid in calling the stock’s performance, “disappointing.” He ensured that as a company they do care about shareholders and are committed to the mission of making the world more open and connected. He reinforced, “We are going do things to build value over the long term.”
He also shared that the poor stock price is not exactly “helping” the morale of the company. However, he feels that as long they are building things they are proud of, it helps to motivate the team as well as helps with recruiting. He said, “I think it’s a great time for people to join. And I think it’s a great time to double down.”
Something that he emphasized was the fact that the IPO is no exception to the fact that Facebook as a company has not been without controversy. He remained positive about the IPO’s potential, suggesting the low stock as simply a speed bump.
“The folks at Facebook are used to the press saying good things about us and bad things about us,” he said. “We have a good compass”.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook search receives over 1 billion queries a day, “without even trying”. He shared that he is very intrigued with what the company can do with search and went on to explain how it is different from other search engines. He says that he thinks that Internet search is evolving from finding keywords to being used to answer specific questions.
He believes that Facebook is in a unique position when it comes to answering some of these questions. For example, maybe in the future, you can search for what sushi restaurants your friends have eaten at in the last six months and which ones they liked. He says that Facebook offers a much more personal way to search as it can use social context in a way that current search engines cannot.
“At some point we’ll do it,” he said, mentioning that there is already a team working on search.
Zuckerberg shared that over 265 million people are playing games on Facebook so canvas is still a very relevant space for the Facebook Platform. He said that although Zynga is facing trouble, other social gaming developers like King.com and Kixeye are finding success.
However, he said he is spending most of his time with Open Graph, which allows developers to use Facebook data elsewhere on the web and in mobile apps. He went on to say that apps that are using the Open Graph to bring information into Facebook to give people social context. He described the music application Spotify as “killing it.” He went on to mention other apps Airbnb and Nike+ as doing really interesting things with the Open Graph.
When asked if he is still having fun, Zuckerberg response was a yes, but that there were more important things than fun.
“Yeah, but it really isn’t about fun anymore; it’s about mission,” he said.
Zuckerberg said he and Facebook are focused on building good things and that he actually prefers to be underestimated rather than overestimated.
He emphasized that he wishes to fulfill the mission of leaving a legacy of making the world more connected and providing people the opportunity to share more things with their friends.
Facebook roundup: large investors sell shares, Gehry to design new building at HQ, agency learning tool launches and more
Facebook co-founder and early investor sell shares – Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and early investor Peter Thiel both sold a portion of their shares since the IPO lockup period ended last week. Thiel, of venture capital firm Founders Fund, sold nearly 20.1 million shares, a majority of his stake. Thiel, who is a Facebook board member, also maintains voting control over the shares owned by Founders Fund. Moskovitz, who helped build the site with Zuckerberg, sold 450,000 shares, leaving him with 7.05 million Class A shares.
Frank Gehry to design building at Facebook HQ – World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has been tapped to design Facebook’s new building at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Construction for the 420,000-square-foot project will likely begin in spring next year. The campus extension will be a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse, though it will be surrounded by trees and include a roof-top garden. An underground tunnel will connect the new building to the rest of the campus.
Facebook agency learning tool rolls out – Facebook has begun to offer Facebook Studio Edge, an interactive learning program for agencies. The program, which is still in beta for select agencies, is designed to help agencies stay on top of the latest product updates and best practices for marketing with Facebook. Topics include the latest on Facebook Pages, ads and social technology.
India government calls on Facebook, Google to remove content – Facebook and Google said Tuesday they are working on requests from India to remove “inflammatory and hateful content,” after the government suggested the rumors spreading across the sites were sparking a mass exodus of people from several cities. Facebook, which has about 50 million users in India, told the Wall St. Journal that it had received the requests and said it is working to respond to the concerns. ”Facebook will remove content which breaches our terms,” it said in a statement.
Facebook stock above $30, denial of IPO fraud, alliance against ad scams and more on this week’s news roundup
Facebook shares are back above $30 for the first time since May, closing today at $30.01 — up 6 percent from Thursday.
Earlier today Facebook filed a motion to consolidate the 40-plus class-action lawsuits against the company following its initial public offering. The filing claims the company did nothing wrong in the weeks leading up to the IPO and suggested that Nasdaq’s technical issues on the first day of trading “created market uncertainty and caused investor losses.” Earlier this week, a Texas court rejected a petition seeking documents and oral dispositions from top Facebook executives to determine if the company defrauded investors.
It’s unclear whether the post-market-close announcement that CTO Bret Taylor would leave the company will affect the company’s stock price on Monday. Shares were down slightly in after-hours trading.
In other Facebook-related news this week:
Facebook joins alliance to fight ‘bad ads’ — Facebook joined Google, Twitter and AOL in an alliance this week against ads that deliver malware, direct users to scams or try to sell counterfeit goods. The alliance will develop industry policy recommendations and best practices, as well as share information about “bad actors” who might try to advertise on a new network after being shut down by another.
App Center now available on iPad — The Facebook App Center is now available to some iPad users as part of the social network’s gradual rollout of the new dashboard. The App Center is available on the web and mobile devices to help users discover new Facebook-integrated applications.
Facebook completely open sources Ringmark — The social network announced on Thursday that its mobile browser test suite, Ringmark, is now completely open source. Facebook has also added drawing performance tests to the Ringmark repository to help game developers and others test a mobile browser’s animation speed.
GraphEffect raises $12M — Social marketing and advertising collaboration platform GraphEffect announced Wednesday that it secured $12 million in financing. The platform, which builds upon the Facebook Ads and Insights APIs, recently added a “story manager” feature to help users understand how their posts are performing and then easily turn those into promoted units. GraphEffect can also now deliver ads within News Feed and mobile devices. CEO and co-founder James Borow says the company has more features in the works, including a full page publishing tool.
AdParlor to give job offer to future winner of Facebook Hackathon — Facebook ad optimization company AdParlor has promised to make a job offer to whoever wins the Facebook Hack in Toronto on Saturday. The winner will also get a new iPad.
Facebook tests ‘share music’ feature – Some Facebook users are seeing a “share music” option in their News Feed publisher, The Next Web reports. Users can search for songs and share Spotify streaming links with friends.
Facebook stock back up, Nasdaq under fire, Yahoo settlement close, and more on this week’s news roundup
Facebook stock ends week on a high note – Facebook closed today at $27.10, up 3 percent from Thursday. Shares fell below $26 on Wednesday, their lowest since the company’s initial public offering on May 18, which priced shares at $38. News about the company’s App Center, mobile ads and a ComScore report about Facebook ad effectiveness could be restoring some investor optimism.
Wall Street criticizes Nasdaq compensation plan – Nasdaq proposed Wednesday to earmark $40 million to compensate investors for losses that resulted from trading problems during Facebook’s initial public offering, but industry executives have raised objections and question whether regulators would approve the plan. Losses across Wall Street have been estimated between $100 million to $200 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook-Yahoo agreement could be on the way – All Things D reports that Yahoo and Facebook are working on a deal that would put an end to the patent infringement lawsuit and counterclaims between the two companies. Sources say the key terms include a cross-licensing agreement and an even deeper integration of Facebook into Yahoo and vice versa.
Court decides Facebook must reveal cyberbullies’ identities – A U.K. woman has won court backing to force Facebook to reveal the identities of cyberbullies who targeted her with “vicious and depraved” messages on the website, The Guardian reports. The woman plans to bring a prosecution against at least four users, after the court said Facebook should reveal their names, email and IP addresses. This is believed to be one of the first cases where an individual has successfully taken legal action against Facebook to reveal the identities of cyberbullies.
GLAAD recognizes Facebook with award – Facebook received a Special Recognition Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) at an awards ceremony on Saturday night for its efforts against bullying, as well as the site’s inclusive options for LGBT users. Facebook Washington DC’s Andrew Noyes and Head of Diversity & Inclusion Sara Sperling accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Facebook to help users remove DNSChanger virus – Facebook will begin to notify users whose computers are likely infected with DNSChanger malware and direct them to instructions on how to clean their computer or networks. All computers still infected with DNSChanger malware will no longer be able to access the Internet after July 9, as part of an effort to prevent the virus from spreading any further.
Credit agency may use Facebook data to influence credit score – A German credit agency plans to use Facebook and other social networks to find information that might have bearing on a user’s credit score, German broadcaster NDR reported Thursday, citing confidential internal documents.
Facebook shares fell more than 9 percent today, closing at $28.84 on the first day of options trading, which allows investors to bet on the future of the stock with less money at risk.
Today marks the first time the company’s shares dropped below $30 after its initial public offering earlier this month, which priced shares at $38. Facebook now has a market cap of about $79 billion, down from the $104 billion IPO valuation. The broader market was up today with the Nasdaq, Dow and S&P all gaining over 1 percent.
Facebook’s stock had a low of $28.65 today as the company debuted in the public options market. An option is a contract that gives investors the right to buy or sell shares at a specific price on or before a certain date. It does not give investors any ownership of a company. Options can be used to bet on the direction of a stock’s price through “calls” and “puts.” When investors buy a call option, they can purchase a stock at a set price any time before the option expires. When investors buy a put option, they can sell a stock at the strike price any time before the expiration date.
According to Bloomberg, the volume for puts exceeded calls by 1.2-to-1, indicating that many investors believe Facebook’s share price will continue to decline over the next month. The outlet says June $30 puts were the most common, followed by June $34 calls and June $32 calls.
The Wall Street Journal suggested that options trading contributed to Facebook shares’ overall decline today. Other factors could include the lawsuits and controversy that have resulted from the social network’s IPO, as well as rumors that Facebook could be building a phone or buying a browser.
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