For those not from Silicon Valley or Wall Street, there’s only 1 thing you really need know about Facebook’s plan to become a publicly traded company: Your Facebook won’t be suddenly overrun with ads. Facebook bluntly warns greedy investors “Our culture emphasizes rapid innovation and prioritizes user engagement over short-term financial results”, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg proclaims, “Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”
This is a huge win for the user base, which depends on Facebook as a communication utility.
Facebook even put its conservative stance on monetization in its assessment of Risk Factors for investors:
“we frequently make product decisions that may reduce our short-term revenue or profitability if we believe that the decisions are consistent with our mission and benefit the aggregate user experience and will thereby improve our financial performance over the long term.”
When rumors first emerged that Facebook was planning to IPO, I shuddered at the thought of enlarged ad sidebars, banner ads on mobile, and timid product development. I’m not worried anymore. Facebook seems determined not to let outside investors narrow its long-term vision. Just look at this photo Mark Zuckerberg posted of his desk yesterday.
Check out our full coverage of Facebook’s filing to IPO, including its $1 billion in profit, 845 million monthly active users, and Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of “The Hacker Way”.