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FACEBOOK GOING PUBLIC RAISES ITS VALUE  IN THE MARKETPLACE
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ITS GLOBAL user base is climbing inexorably towards 1 billion and next week, when it floats as a public company, Facebook is expected to be valued at a staggering $US95 billion. But to the company you are worth as little as $4.54 a year.

That’s the amount of money Facebook is likely to earn in advertising revenue this year from each of its 11 million Australian users, despite the fact that Australians spend more time on the social networking site than anywhere else.

It is marginally more than the global average but less than half the amount of dollars that each American and Canadian generates for the company.

Yet analysts expect an increase in advertising after Facebook goes public next week, as the pressure mounts from shareholders to lift the average revenue per user to higher levels.

Advertisers typically use Facebook as a cheap means of getting to lots of people with simple ads that appear on the right hand side of a person’s page.

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John Miskelly, a director of the media buying agency MediaCom, said more and varied types of ads might appear, including handing over the entire home page to a single advertiser for the day, an increase in banner ads and more advertising messages appearing in a user’s news feed, a space usually dedicated for personal posts.

He also raises the prospect that Facebook may open up the reams of data that it compiles on users to allow big spending advertisers to access it directly to serve tailored advertising to users.

At the moment advertisers do not have direct access to the data but rather they give Facebook a wish list of who they want to target, based on basic information such as age, gender and interests, and then Facebook places the ads on their behalf.

Facebook aggregates users into ”types” based on the information they hand over but mining that information more deeply would give advertisers more and deeper knowledge about people they want to target with ads.
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”Getting hold of that kind of data would be a marketer’s dream. It’s a goldmine. It would really improve the targeting with their other online advertising as they would be reaching the right people with their messages,” Mr Miskelly said.

The editor of Social Media News, David Cowling, expects mobile phone users will see more ads appear on their handset screen, an area the company has yet to exploit but has flagged as an area of growth.

Mr Cowling puts the lower ad revenue per user in Australia down to the fact that to date few small businesses are using Facebook for advertising.

He said Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerburg, who will remain a large shareholder, would resist commercialising the site too much. ”He is always focused on new products and making the site better. Generating new revenues has never really been his goal. Whether that remains the case after the IPO [float] remains to be seen.”
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CO-FOUNDER OF FACEBOOK EDUARDO SAVERIN RENOUNCES US CITIZENSHIP

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EDUARDO SAVERIN, the billionaire co-founder of Facebook, renounced his US citizenship on the verge of a sharemarket float that values the social network at nearly $US96 billion.

Facebook plans to raise as much as $11.8 billion through the float, the biggest in history for an internet company.

Mr Saverin’s relinquishing of US citizenship could reduce his tax bill. His stake in Facebook is about 4 per cent, according to the website whoownsfacebook.com. After the float, that would be worth about $US3.8 billion.
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Mr Saverin joins a growing number of people giving up US citizenship before a possible increase in tax rates for top earners. The Brazilian-born resident of Singapore helped Mark Zuckerberg start Facebook in a Harvard dormitory.

”Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time,” his spokesman, Tom Goodman, said.

The 2010 movie The Social Network portrayed him as a scorned friend who provided the company’s early financing and then was squeezed out. He sued Mr Zuckerberg and settled for an undisclosed amount.
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

BRAIN SUGGESTS SEX, FOOD & SOCIAL SITES ALL  GIVE SIMILAR PLEASURES

Posting your views on Facebook and other social media sites delivers a powerful pleasure reward to the brain similar to the pleasure from food and sex, a Harvard study concludes.
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The study led by two neuroscientists and published this week concluded that “self disclosure” produces a response in the region of the brain associated with dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure or the anticipation of a reward.

The researchers said most people devote 30 to 40 percent of their speech to “informing others of their own subjective experiences” but that on social media, this is closer to 80 per cent.

They conclude “that humans so willingly self-disclose because doing so represents an event with intrinsic value, in the same way as with primary rewards such as food and sex.”

Although Facebook was not specifically cited in the study, it focused on the brain response of people’s “opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others.”

“To the extent that humans are motivated to propagate the products of their minds, opportunities to disclose one’s thoughts should be experienced as a powerful form of subjective reward,” wrote Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell of Harvard’s Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab.
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The research, published in the May 7 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said the study support the notion that humans, like some other primates, will give up some rewards because of a powerful brain response.

The study gave people a small cash reward for answering certain factual questions about things they observe, and a lower reward for offering their own views about a subject. But in many cases, the participants chose a smaller reward if they could talk about themselves.

“Just as monkeys are willing to forgo juice rewards to view dominant groupmates and college students are willing to give up money to view attractive members of the opposite sex, our participants were willing to forgo money to think and talk about themselves,” the researchers wrote.
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha