Facebook is expected to become the largest initial public offering (IPO) in history and could value the company at $100 billion, according to the Associated Press. This would make the site worth more than Disney, Ford or Kraft Foods.
With this in mind, people are weighing in on the website's worth and resiliency. According to a recent Associated Press-CNBC poll, half of Americans do not believe Facebook is here to stay.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph asked East Texans about the role Facebook plays in their everyday lives.
Here's what they had to say:
Name: Kim Williams
Mrs. Williams uses Facebook to connect with the 60 to 70 friends she has on the site. She checks her newsfeed around four times a week. “I think it's a gateway fad that will go into becoming much bigger,” she said.
Name: Angelica Munoz
Ms. Munoz has 63 friends that she checks up on everyday for an hour on Facebook. She likes to connect with her family in Mexico as well as in other states. She does not think the site is a passing fad because it is for sharing information and happy memories with her friends.
Name: Dawn Wilken
OCCUPATION: In between jobs
Checking her page about three times a day, Ms. Wilken enjoys posting photos of her dogs and catching up with her 150 friends on the site. She hopes Facebook will not leave any time soon; however she believes there will always be something like it in the future.
Name: Dustin Thomas
Town: Wills Point
Thomas is among a rare breed of college-age students who rarely check their Facebook account — only about once a month. He said that he has not been on his page in a while and has around 50 friends on the site. He thinks Facebook will die out eventually. “Well, I don't use it,” he said.
Name: Rosa Parson
OCCUPATION: Administrative assistant
As an Austrian native, Ms. Parson uses her account to keep in touch with her 60 Facebook friends overseas and across the nation three or four times a week. “People have a lot invested in it (Facebook) with a lot of stuff on it,” she said. “And it's a great way to communicate.”
Name: Jessica Brown
Occupation: Masters student
Ms. Brown admits that she checks her Facebook way too often in order to check up on her more than 400 friends with the constant updates sent directly to her phone. She uses her account to play games and keep in touch with others. While other options will come in, she thinks Facebook will trump them all — even Twitter.
Name: Cindy Anderson
Ms. Anderson uses her Facebook to keep up with her 150 Facebook friends but admits that she does not do much on the site herself. She expressed her frustration in the constantly-changing layout and rules. “I just wish they would quit changing it,” she said.
Name: Tiffany Lee
Ms. Lee views her Facebook at least 10 to 20 times a day — a normal amount for a high school student. She likes to look at photos of her 90 friends she has on the site. “I think it's losing popularity,” she said. “But I think it will be here for a while.”
Name: Shelby Duncan
Ms. Duncan spends at least two hours every day on Facebook. She uses the site to catch up with her estimated 150 Facebook friends and those she graduated with. “If people use it [Facebook] correctly like I do, then it will stay around for a while,” she said. “But if they're using it to just party and post pictures and stuff where employment can look at it, then it will go away fast.”
Name: Ekaterina Skurikhina
Occupation: Works at China Cafe
Ms. Skurikhina accesses Facebook often using her mobile phone. Originally from Russia, she said the site is a cheaper way to connect with family and friends in her home country. “It is easier to contact them this way than having to pay to call Russia,” she said.
Name: Jordan Butler
Miss Butler originally joined Facebook to play games. However, she now uses it to connect with her 200 Facebook friends and family as well as school projects. While many new social networking sites have come along, they offer the same features as Facebook, she said. “Why would I want to use something that is just like Facebook?” she said. “I think it will be around a while.”
Name: Hannah Price
Miss Price has an estimated 1,300 friends on the site. However, she said she is cautious about only accepting people she knows. She usually accesses the site once a day and uses it primarily to upload and share pictures with her friends. “It's way better than going to the store and printing off photos,” she said.
Name: Maria Reyes
Occupation: Adult probation officer
Ms. Reyes uses the site five to 10 times a day to keep up with her 230 Facebook friends. The site is beginning to turn into something it wasn't intended for, Reyes said. “They are getting on to talk about politics and religion and promote things,” she said. “I'm not into that.”
Name: David Wilken
Town: Fort Worth
With 591 Facebook friends, Wilken accesses Facebook a couple of times a day to see what people are doing. He said it provides a unique opportunity for users to keep up with those they graduated with. Because of this, Facebook will continue to draw users in, he said.
Name: Jason Blann
Blann has more than 700 friends on Facebook. He said he primarily uses the site to communicate with friends who live in various places across the country. “I think it [Facebook] will die off eventually and something new will come along,” he said. “Just like Myspace did.”
Name: Diana Rocha
Occupation: Hair stylist
Ms. Rocha uses Facebook at least twice a day to keep up with her family and friends. Also, as a hair stylist, she uses the site to post some of the hairstyles she does for her clients. “I think Facebook is around to stay,” she said. “It provides endless possibilities, which is why Mark Zuckerberg created it.”
Name: Alexandria Shirley
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Town: Tuscumbia, Ala.
Like many others, Ms. Shirley uses the website about once a day to stay in touch with friends and family. Facebook appeals to everyone, young and old, and as a result will be around for years to come, she said.
Name: Michael Hill
Occupation: Target employee
Hill uses Facebook to keep up to date with what is going on in other parts of the world and with his more than 1,500 friends. He said the popularity of Facebook depends on its recent attempt to go public. “If it goes through then Twitter will get a lot more followers,” he said.
Name: Mandi Adams
While she has around 400 Facebook friends, Ms. Adams thinks the site will somehow be around because of the way it connects its ever-growing population. “I only check it or skim over it,” she said. “I don't really post much.”