Facebook asked to specify how life-threatening mobile failure will be

And notice I said “will” not “can” because outside of snatching up Instagram, I highly doubt that there is much Facebook can really do on the mobile front.  User habits in the mobile web are rapidly hardening, as new as all this seems.  And I would rather eat glass than click a mobile ad even though I’ll certainly read one while scrolling through the Twitter feed on my iPhone.

But that’s about it.

Anyway, the SEC specifically instructed Facebook to admit that a lack of success on the mobile front could really sink the company.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything quite like this before…

From Reuters:

The Securities & Exchange Commission quizzed Facebook Inc on the impact of growth in mobile users in the months leading up to the social network’s initial public offering, letters released on Friday by the regulator show.

“Assuming that the trend towards mobile continues and your mobile monetization efforts are unsuccessful, ensure that your disclosure fully addresses the potential consequences to your revenue and financial results rather than just stating that they ‘may be negatively affected,'” the SEC wrote in a February 28 letter to Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman.

That’s so badass.  Props to the SEC for being on their game here.  This was a hundred billion dollar offering for a company with a make-or-break technology turn happening in the next 2 to 4 quarters. Investors cannot afford to be sanguine because of a high number of current users.


SEC quizzed Facebook on mobile trends before IPO (Reuters via Yahoo)