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Facebook IPO may be social networking bellwether

Sharon Gaudin | Feb. 2, 2012
With Facebook expected to file its plans today for its initial public offering, industry and financial analysts say it could be one of the biggest IPOs in U.S. history.

Siegel added that the excitement over Facebook's IPO is an indication that social networks are changing entertainment and advertising.

"They're also changing us culturally in terms of how we interact with other people and how we feel about privacy," he said. "It's sort of this bellwether for social media. It will tell us a lot about what the demand is for social networks ... [Twitter CEO] Dick Costolo is paying close attention to Facebook's IPO."

Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, noted that a successful Facebook IPO could immediately start driving more money toward social media. While he doesn't anticipate another dot-com bubble arising, it could lead to an influx of cash to a lot of companies.

"It certainly could either drive more money into the segment if it is successful or pull money out if it isn't," Enderle said. "It will showcase just how rabid investors still are for this property. If Facebook goes big, its example should push funding into the segment. If it doesn't, it will simply tell us that investors have moved on."


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