Facebook is at a pivotal crossroads. Ever since its stock market flotation, the social giant has had a tough problem to address: how can it become profitable without alienating its user base? Myspace couldn't manage it (sorry Justin, no amount of cool re-branding is gonna bring that sexy back) and the jury's still out on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Facebook's floatation on to the choppy waters of the Nasdaq hasn't exactly made for a comfortable time at Menlo Park. The handling of the launch, the lawsuits, and most of all the fallingshare price has made the social network more a subject for public speculation than at any time in the company's history - which is going some, for an internet poster-child like Facebook. But for marketers, the pressure on Facebook isn't all bad news.
Facebook owns an incredible amount of information about, and created by, its users and as a result data security is key to maintain confidence in the site. A significant data breach would mean a PR backlash, regulatory investigations and civil liability to its users for negligence and other causes of action.
The flotation of Facebook - one of the largest Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in American history - is arguably also the flotation of an entire econo...