May 24, 2012

#Facebook flop - a social media bubble ahead?

Yes, per the first-day playout of a number of other highly touted IPOs, we must say that Facebook had a Friday flop, and that Mark Zuckerberg had a black Friday. I mean, when your stock gets tagged with a “sell” order on opening day, it’s pretty sad. Facebook is what, the Chicago Cubs of IPOs?

But, let’s look beyond Facebook.

Zynga fell 13 percent. Yelp went down 12 percent. Groupon was off 7 percent and LinkedIn slid 5 percent.

Yes, all three major exchanges were off today but the NASDAQ only fell 1.24 percent.

So, is there a social media bubble? It’s arguable that Zynga is highly dependent on Facebook’s valuation and Yelp somewhat so, but Groupon is only modestly dependent on it and LinkedIn not at all.

So, what gives?

Maybe there is a social media bubble. What that says for larger economic issues, I have no idea. But it probably isn't good. If this means more “bricks and mortar” companies follow GM’s lead and stop advertising on Facebook, that will likely have fallout with ad agencies, PR agencies and possibly other business fields.

That said, it’s surprising, though kind of nice, to see GM make two smart ad decisions in a row. The second? Deciding to ditch the Super Bowl.

Is there a bubble there waiting to burst? If so … that would certainly have further effects in the ad world. Stay tuned.

What it has to say for American social psychology may be that there’s a psychological social media bubble, too.

Update, May 23: Meanwhile, as of the end of day May 22, FB stock had sunk to $31 a share. 

Update May 24: Facebook and Morgan Stanley, its IPO underwriter, are being sued for allegedly knowing that FB had lowered earnings projections and did not reveal this pre-IPO. Shock me once again about Zuckerberg.

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