Tomorrow might be an awakening call for Facebook- the day of its first earning reports as the company shares its financial information since its much-hyped initial public offering in May. Thursday marks a huge financial test as to whether Facebook will fulfill all the expectations to become the blockbuster business success so many investors have bet on.
“There is a lot on the line,” states the Wall Street Journal. “Facebook efforts on advertising face a day of judgment,” says the New York Times.
Being unpredictable since its debut, Facebook has not yet managed to rise to its original $38 share price as the social network faces questions about how much of the ads it depends on for the collection of its revenue.
Apple has for years directly and indirectly promoted and inspired the rumor industry that envelops the social site.
Those concerned about whether Facebook can uphold itself long-term as a business that is supported by ads is focusing on revenue collected by the advertisements.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg is expected to provide some valuable insight into the company’s vision that many shareholders and investors want to hear. The efficacy of Facebook ads is under the gun, post General Motors dropping its paid advertising on the network just days ahead of the company’s debut on the stock market.
There have been different conclusions of studies done on the efficiency of Facebook advertising. It all depends on how Facebook steps in and manages the conversation about how well it serves users and marketers without making anyone feel alienated.
However, there is another question lined up for the social network giant: How will it manage its shift to mobile? As told to Bloomberg at the Sun Valley media conference recently, Facebook chief executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that the biggest challenge that the company is facing is the way to figure out how to make Facebook interesting on cell phones.
As smartphones and tablets have small screen spaces, the challenge here lies in giving users full social experience without making the presentation look too crowded. Another pitfall is advertisements on cell phones as most users are not happy if their small screens are taken up by marketing space. Even advertisers won’t be happy if the network’s user base continues to rely on mobiles if Facebook has no clear strategy for making money off the switch. Shareholders, too, will be watching.
Facebook observers expect to see as to who will speak on behalf of the company for the earnings call and get a read on how much Zuckerberg is looking to please investors. They need confidence with no false promises that the company can’t keep. The young CEO faced a lot of criticism for his apparent casual manner about taking the company public and for sending other executives, such as Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, to talk with Wall Street.
There was also criticism as to how Zuckerberg appeared at the road show presentation in a hoodie and jeans instead of in a suit, which interested Wall Street bankers, already concerned that Zuckerberg was more focused on building the product rather than on ensuring its profitability.
Investors are considering many points and expect Zuckerberg to take part in the company’s first earnings call. Every word he says will be examined more carefully than reports by most CEOs.
However, his absence would also speak volumes. Let’s just wait to watch whether this one quarter report says much about Facebook’s future that is yet to be written.