SEC regulations may not force Facebook to file IPO

zuckerberg-facebook ipoEver since Facebook’s remarkable round of fundraising and approximated $70 billion valuation earlier this year, IPO rumors have been swirling. And an SEC regulation that requires businesses with more than $10 million in assets and over 499 shareholders to go public seemed to set a 2012 Facebook IPO in stone. The rule didn’t mean that Facebook would have to publicly sell off its shares but that it would have to allow access to its currently confidential financial documents and corporate infrastructure. But now it seems like a for-sure Facebook IPO may be off the table as the SEC considers adjusting this regulation.

According to Fortune, an amendment may be drafted so that companies wouldn’t be forced into filing their S-1 form until they reach 1,000 shareholders. This means Facebook (and a handful of other companies, including the likes of Zynga) would have considerable more time to enjoy its private status before turning itself over to the public eye. To put off an IPO date even longer, the proposed bill wouldn’t consider employees shareholders (as it currently does). This would dramatically reduce the number of SEC-recognized shareholders and could effectively postpone public filings indefinitely, in theory. Taking things even further, accredited investors would also be exempt from the shareholder count–this means VC firms, mutual funds, and even people who are worth more than $1 million when they invest. Family and friends would still be included in that 1,000-limit count though.

The expanded shareholder limit and editing who is and isn’t considered a shareholder would make a significant difference when it comes to IPO filings, not to mention how companies choose to sell their shares. If a business plays its cards right, it could stay private forever – or at least be the one calling the shots and effectively taking a considerable amount of control away from the SEC.

Now the question is whether this will change Facebook’s IPO plans. It’s remarkably fast growth over the last year (despite those current whispers about losing users) has made it difficult for the company to stay private much longer, but that was according to the old rules. Facebook even admitted it “expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.” But if these SEC regulations are amended, will it reconsider? Best case scenario, the bill wouldn’t be enacted for months yet, but it seems safe to say Facebook may have more options than we thought.

Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Home Theater

OLED or LED? We pick the winner in the battle of competing TV tech

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Social Media

Hangouts isn’t being hung out to dry in 2020, Google says

According to a report, Google may shut down Google Hangouts by 2020. While Hangouts was once Google's top-tier messaging app, the app has since been neglected in favor of Android Messages.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."