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Facebook is a fad, say half of people polled

Half of Americans surveyed by the AP and CNBC see the social network as a fad, while half believe the asking price of its IPO is too high.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Facebook has more 900 million users as it prepares to launch a new IPO this week. But a fair number of people aren't too excited about the popular social network.

Half of the 1,000 people polled by the Associated Press and CNBC called Facebook a passing fad. A majority of those surveyed (51 percent) have a favorable impression of the company, while 23 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

But in light of the upcoming IPO, the survey focused more on Facebook's value as an investment.

Half of those polled believe the initial asking price is too high, while just a third feel the value is appropriate. But those results are based on Facebook's original asking price.

The company today revised its S-1 Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to price its initial public shares between $34 and $38. That's an increase from the $28 to $35 range that Facebook first announced.

Still, more than half of the people polled said that Facebook would make a good investment, while 17 percent said they're just not sure how the company will fare after it goes public.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg grabbed mixed results in the poll.

Half of those questioned said they were neutral, don't know how they feel, or have never even heard of Zuck. More than a third see him in a favorable light, while 14 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

Among active investors, 42 percent have a positive impression of the CEO, while 14 percent are more negative. Zuckerberg's age and reputation had little impact on the opinion of those polled.

But Zuck's skills at running a large, publicly-traded company was another matter. Only 18 percent said they have deep confidence in his ability to run a public Facebook, while 40 percent said they're "somewhat confident."

As usual, privacy was a hot-button topic.

Only 13 percent of the people polled said they trust Facebook "completely" or "a lot" to keep their personal information private. More than half (59 percent) said they have little or no faith in the company to protect their privacy. And allmost a quarter said they don't even use Facebook because of privacy concerns.

The survey was conducted by phone from May 3 to May 7 and solicited the opinions of 1,004 people.