Everyone knew it was coming, but yesterday Facebook officially filed for an Initial Public Offering, more commonly known as an IPO. Not knowing exactly when the IPO would be filed and announced, I started doing a little research into what the social world was saying about it yesterday afternoon. About 20 minutes after I thought I had enough information to write about, Mark Zuckerberg dropped the news. So, for the most part of this post I’ll be looking at the chatter that led up to the IPO announcement, and then I’ll look at what occurred after.
As I said before, everyone knew that Facebook had been planing to go public for a while. In the past six months (up to about 3pmEST yesterday) I had found “Facebook” and “IPO” mentioned together in 33,452 blog posts, 38,215 online news articles, 5,904 forum postings and 68,143 tweets.
Trending those mentions out overtime we can see that the topic had been part of conversations for a while. We can also see from some spikes in activity when certain new news came to light. For instance, the spike that we can see at the end of November and beginning of December was when a story broke that Facebook was looking to file the IPO in the spring of 2012. That soon changed though as the large spikes right at the end of the chart were people talking over the past few days as they knew the IPO was shortly coming.
I also looked at which countries the talk was coming from. The US, both home to Facebook and the stock exchange the stock will eventually be traded on, accounted for about half of all the conversation. However, we can also see that a lot of countries with strong social media usage also had their eyes on the story. Countries like India (2.9%), Singapore (2.8%), Indonesia (2.1%) and even China (5.8%).
I then pulled up a buzzgraph to get an idea of what the conversation over the past six months had been about. Whats most interesting about this buzzgraph is how many other “social” companies’ names we can find in it. It seems that talk about Facebook’s IPO has been compared to other social networks who have recently gone public like “Zynga,” “LinkedIn” and “Groupon.” We can even see that Facebook was being compared to “Google” who went public back in 2004.
I then dug a bit further into the activity around Facebook’s IPO in the past week (up to about 3pmEST yesterday). Here the buzzgraph seems to be a bit tighter on the conversation and definitely more focused on Facebook’s IPO. The greater connections we can see in this buzzgraph link to financial institutions. We can see “Morgan” “Stanley” in the graph because it became public knowledge last week that Facebook would be using them to underwrite the IPO. We can also see “Goldman” “Sachs” in there because they had strong financial links to Facebook in the past and it came as a surprise to some that they were passed over for Morgan Stanley.
Now, as I said earlier, most of this data I collected just before 3pmEST yesterday. A short while after that, around 4:30pmEST, the news of Facebook’s IPO broke. I took the liberty of trending out at an hourly rate the talk about Facebook’s IPO over the past two days. Now the chart below looks like a lot of no activity before a huge spike between 4-5pmEST yesterday. However, most of the time leading up to the announcement was averaging between 500 and 700 mentions of an hour. Those mentions vastly pale in comparison though to when the announcement was made and we see the large spike in activity. Between the hours of 4-5pmEST yesterday we saw Facebook’s IPO being mentioned 14,761 times.
So, will you be buying some Facebook stock?