Friday, February 3, 2012

Facebook IPO will mean big business for thousands of smaller companies - San Jose Mercury News

Patrick Salyer doesn't work at Facebook. He doesn't own any of its stock. But he's one of thousands of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and around the world who stand to make a lot of money when the Menlo Park social network goes public later this year.

Salyer, 30, is chief executive of Gigya, a Palo Alto startup that helps clients such as Nike and Home Depot reach customers via their Facebook accounts. He said Facebook's filing Wednesday to go public -- which unveiled a trove of data about the company's revenue and customer growth -- will be "a wake-up call for businesses" to step up spending on social media and benefit companies like his.

The number of startups that have sprung up in recent years to make money via Facebook's platform easily runs into the tens of thousands, said Steve Garrity, co-founder of Hearsay Social. The San Francisco company helps big brands like 24 Hour Fitness manage relationships with customers using social networks.

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