May 04 - The world's largest social network wants to “friend” individual investors in its roughly $10.6 billion initial public offering, launching a highly-polished video aimed at touting the company's growth prospects. Conway G. Gittens reports.
As Wall Street shows it "likes" the upcoming Facebook initial public offering by raising very public banners in celebration.... Facebook is going after another crowd with a 31-minute video. UPSOUND: "There's 2 billion likes a day. Comments are left over a billion times a day. Over 900 million people use Facebook on a monthly basis. Over half a billion use it on a daily basis." This highly produced video, set to music, is a digital cheat sheet for Facebook's roughly 200-page official filing; giving small investors, who will not hear the pitches given to Wall Street professionals, a bigger window into the hottest and biggest IPO ever to come out of Silicon Valley. And there's a possibility more mom and pop investors will have a chance to get a piece of that roughly $10.6 billion action. Facebook is willing to boost the number of shares that will be allotted to small investors, according to the New York Times. In the video Facebook talks about its core features, as well as its mobile strategy, advertisers, and there's cameos from corporate partners like Ben and Jerry's - all in an attempt to convey a message of growth, says digital strategist and social media expert Peter Shankman. SOUNDBITE: PETER SHANKMAN, DIGITAL STRATEGIST AND SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "850 million users, the majority of which are active, is hard to argue with. It definitely is a good balance of users, advertisers, and stickiness, the users don't just come and go away." "Facebook has a very large stickiness base. People come. They come back. They come back multiple times a day. That's what Facebook is counting on to drive their IPO." Facebook is not breaking new ground with the video - others like Google and Groupon have done the same, but veteran Wall Street analysts says this approach makes sense as the world's largest social network hopes to expand into a shareholder network. Conway Gittens, Reuters