Photo: Flickr / Marcin Wichary
The people most eagerly anticipating Facebook’s late May IPO are obviously the thousand or so employees and former employees who will become millionaires the moment the company starts trading.After that, the Silicon Valley group most eager to see Facebook public has to be Googlers – especially those involved in Google+ development.
Google keeps putting out user numbers for Google+.
When it does, the tech press reacts one of three ways: by not believing those numbers, saying those user numbers are due to Google.com’s already massive size, or contrasting them with Facebook’s much bigger user numbers.
For now (and for a long time to come) Google can’t win when it comes to comparing Google+ user numbers with Facebook user numbers.
Googlers are excited about the Facebook IPO, because after that, a new metric will finally come into play: revenues.
When Facebook IPOs, any kind of pop in the stock price will likely put its market cap into the same zip code as Google’s – ~$150 billion versus ~$200 billion. Meanwhile, Facebook’s revenues will be about one-tenth the size of Google’s.
Quite reasonably, investors are going to expect Facebook to grow those top line numbers every quarter – by a lot.
If he’s smart – and we think he is – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will do his best Jeff Bezos impression and ignore calls for changes that favour business growth over the Facebook user experience.
But even though that’s the right move, Googlers are giddy because it will still provide them with the opportunity to tell a story about the one way Google+ is beating Facebook: as a contributor to the top and bottom lines of its quarterly earnings.
That’s because for Google, the whole point of building a social layer on top of its existing products is not to serve ads anywhere in Google+. It’s to use data from that social layer to make search results better and to make search ads more compelling and clickable.
The advantage for Google in position Google+ this way is that search is already a HUGE business for them, generating more than $30 billion in revenues each year.
Meanwhile, Facebook would be thrilled to get to $7 billion revenues in 2012.
Suddenly, it will be Facebook that’s lagging.
Google can’t wait for Facebook’s IPO because it will be like a starter’s gun going off for a mile race race in which Google is already four laps ahead.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.