AUSTIN, TX, January 14, 2013 – January 15th is going to be interesting for Facebook and its fans. The buzz around tech town is that Facebook is going to release its plans to collaborate on a smartphone. If this is a phone that runs a Facebook operating system, branded hardware, or something completely unrelated no one can say and Facebook is keeping the story under a tight wrap until tomorrow.
There’s been talk in the industry about a Facebook phone for a long time. There’ve even been substantive rumors from credible sources that the elusive device existed on a shelf somewhere we just weren’t allowed to see it. No one has released blurry pictures of faceless scientists working on this project but if Facebook doesn’t step up on the topic we probably will.
On Tuesday the 15th Facebook Inc. is holding an event at its Silicon Valley headquarters and no one outside the company knows what it’s about. Just the mystery alone has caused a climb in Facebook stock price so investors should be happy regardless of what they talk about. All Facebook said to the reporters that were invited was to “come and see what we’re building”.
The Facebook Phone, while being the most exciting possibility, is not the only one. Talks of new partnerships and e-commerce programs have also been passed around through industry analysts.
Whatever is released tomorrow it should be significant. It is unlikely that Facebook would leave a trail of bread crumbs for reporters to follow to a mysterious meeting only to reveal a way to serve more of the same ads to the same users. There’s only two weeks left until Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings report so they certainly don’t want to get an auditorium full of eyes on them only to disappoint.
It’s possible that the announcement on Tuesday is going to cover a new mobile advertising initiative. Everyone in the mobile industry knows that this is the Holy Grail for advertising as consumers make purchases from mobile devices in greater numbers. No one has gotten this critical piece of the puzzle right and if Facebook does it they will certainly blow past the $38 a share they are looking for and then some. In fact, if Facebook can dominate mobile advertising their war with Google will get that much more interesting as things heat up.
Whatever news Facebook releases on Tuesday it’s going to have a lot of people listening. If the market is a current indication it looks like people are excited to hear what they have to say.
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