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Will Users "Going Private" Hurt Facebook?

After the world's most hyped IPO turned out to be a dunce, most investors probably don't even want to think about shares of Facebook. But there are things every investor needs to know about this company. We've outlined them in our newest premium research report. There's a lot more to Facebook than meets the eye, so read up on whether there is anything to "like" about it today, and we'll tell you whether we think Facebook deserves a place in your portfolio. Access your report by clicking here.

Brendan Byrnes: That's also one of the things that brings up privacy; people are increasingly concerned about privacy.

Facebook knows a ton about us, Apple and Google know a tremendous amount about us, and one of the trends we're seeing is even though we're more interconnected than ever, we're also seeing a rush toward "We want to be more private."

How do you see those two squaring off, and what can people do to be more private?

Ann Mack: This speaks to one of our trends, called "Going private in public." This is the next iteration of our social lives. The first, 1.0, was social media was so novel to us so we had this tendency to show and tell all, no matter how personal.

Then, when we realized, "Oh, wait... wait a second," we felt this radical transparency remorse, especially as some of these younger online exhibitionists entered higher education and the workforce, and realized that people were vetting them through their social media profiles.

Now we're on to the next iteration, where we still want socially vibrant lives, but we want to maintain some privacy so we're carving back some private spaces – gaming the system – for instance, coming up with pseudonyms on our Facebook pages so our employers don't readily find us, or having "dark rooms" at parties where no camera phones are allowed, so you can partake in some uninhibited behavior without worrying that it's going to end up on social media later.

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