Next year is already shaping up to be the year of Facebook, part two. The story and PR challenge of the company, however, will be a bit different.
This year Facebook lived through PR blow after blow on the pesky user privacy issue and saw the release of a critically acclaimed film that paints Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg as a socially awkward and somewhat conniving genius, who also went on to win Time magazine Person of the Year.
But next year it's about the money. Speculation of an imminent Facebook IPO is already dogging the company, and it will only intensify next year, especially as more investors want a piece of the action.
Zuckerberg has repeatedly said Facebook has no immediate plans to go public. But nonetheless, questions and media and investor scrutiny on this will surge next year. Facebook, after all, has established itself as the social media king.
Just when we thought we couldn't hear anymore more about Facebook and Zuckerberg, we will.
As the Facebook platform evolves and grows, so does a deeper public, private, and investor interest. By now we all know the backstory of Facebook more or less, but now we want to see the company's balance sheets; we want to know what the company hasn't shown or told us. An IPO moves us closer in that direction.
How Facebook PR manages IPO pressure, and speculation, in 2011 is yet to be seen. It's a story that will undoubtedly unfold.