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5 Hot Facebook Rumors


Apple, Google, and other tales that may not be that far-fetched.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Since its IPO, Facebook (FB) has been the subject of intense speculation and buzz. Here's a quick recap of the five most prevalent rumors.

1. Facebook will partner with Apple (AAPL).
This would benefit both parties as Apple missed out on the social trend and Facebook famously has had problems going mobile. The origins of the current rumor are the comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the D10 conference. In summary, Cook said the relationship was tight and commented, "I think we can do more with them. So stay tuned..." Presumably this relationship would debut with the next version of iOS. Twitter has been Apple's main third-party authentication partner on its mobile operating systems. However, many think Apple will replace Twitter with Facebook.

2. Facebook sees Google (GOOG) as the arch enemy.
Another reason that a Facebook-Apple partnership is plausible: The two companies together would have a chance to take on Google, which FB reportedly sees as an enemy. The two tech giants have been on the outs for years, what with bickering over search results and the launch of the plucky social network Google+. Additionally, Facebook has spitefully removed Google Chrome from its list of recommended browsers. Considering that Google Chrome is now the most popular browser on the planet, its omission is a fairly glaring one.

3. Facebook wants to exploit children.
As if already employing the world's largest unpaid workforce was not enough, Facebook may be targeting kids. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is developing a technology that would take the lying out of the under-13 profile. The prototypes being tested now allow kids to create and maintain profiles, but only under adult supervision. Adults are able to exercise control over who their children "friend," what pictures they can post, what applications they can use, the entertainment they can access, etc. Until now, Facebook has taken the high road when it came to leveraging children for a higher profit margin. To protect them from sexual predators, Internet trolls, and cyberbullies, the social network had traditionally banned anyone under the age of 13 from creating an account. There's also that pesky federal privacy law that prohibits websites from collecting personal data from children without verifiable parental consent.

4. Facebook users don't buy products on the site.
Unfortunately for Facebook, a recent Reuters and Ipsos Public Affairs poll says that four in five users have never (repeat, never) bought a product after viewing an ad on the site. Worse yet, over the past month, more users have cut down on their Facebook time than have increased it . Long term, perhaps the most damning piece of data from the survey is the fact that comments from friends had the same effectiveness in getting users to buy something as ads -- that is, 20%. Considering the fact that Facebook has marketed itself as capable of monetizing user connections, this is troubling news indeed.

5. Facebook killed the IPO market.
Summer is usually peak season for IPOs, and 2012 was shaping up to be a peak year for them. But now, would-be-public companies are backing up as fast as they can. At least 13 planned IPOS have been canceled or postponed since Facebook went public on May 17, according to Bloomberg News. One of the first casualties was Kayak Software Corp., which runs the profitable travel search engine It canceled its IPO road show at the last minute. Also on hold is a planned IPO for VKontakte, Russia's largest social network. CyOptics Inc., an optical components maker based in Pennsylvania, has pulled its planned offering, as has Corsair Components Inc., a PC gaming hardware company. Tria Beauty, a California maker of laser cosmetic devices for home use, announced its postponement on May 23, the week it was supposed to price its IPO. Graff Diamonds has put off its debut on the Hong Kong exchange. Formula One Group, the auto-racing company, has also delayed its debut in Singapore.
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