Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has invited the world to “Come and See What We’re Building” tomorrow. Naturally, the mysterious announcement is generating plenty of buzz.
The Internet is alive with rumors about what exactly the social network is “building.” Facebook’s mystery event will be held on its Menlo Park, California at 1 p.m. eastern time tomorrow. Until then, speculation will continue to run rampant.
There are already enough rumors out there about what Facebook’s new product could be without me throwing one more dart against the board.
However, after scanning various blogs and news sources, here are the five most popular rumors about what Facebook’s mystery launch could be:
- A Smartphone. People have been talking about a Facebook phone for more than a year. It makes sense, given that a lot of people already use Facebook on their mobile devices. Given the success Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has had with its secretive iPhone announcements – six and counting, now – maybe Mark Zuckerberg decided to take a similar approach in unveiling his company’s first smartphone.
- A Mobile Operating System. Rather than build its own smartphone, some analysts think Facebook might instead be building its own software for running a Facebook operating system on certain smartphone platforms. Having already released a smartphone that had a Facebook button 18 months ago, HTC is the leading candidate for being Facebook’s partner in such a scheme.
- A New Gaming Platform. Forbes and others have speculated that this might be the route Facebook is taking, given the struggles of its main gaming platform, Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA), since it went public a little over a year ago.
- An Instagram Upgrade. Last year, the social network bought the fledgling photo-sharing company for a cool $1 billion. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll discover that it was for some other reason than simply snatching up a budding competitor before it became too much of a threat.
- Messenger for iPad. This rumor is one that TechCrunch is happily spreading. The iPad tablet is the one mobile platform that does not contain “Messenger”, an application that allows photo sharing, group messaging, voice-recorded messaging and location tagging. Messenger is already available for iPhones and laptops. This could expand the application’s reach even further.
Regardless of what Facebook’s new product ends up being, simply generating all this buzz with a cryptic press invitation has certainly been good for the stock. Facebook shares are up 19% since the company issued its mystery announcement.
Of course, such rampant buzz generates expectations. If Facebook falls short of those growing expectations, the stock could come crashing back to earth in a hurry.