Expectations High Ahead of Facebook’s Media Event Tuesday

The spirit of Steve Jobs and the influence of Apple will be unmistakable today in Menlo Park, California. That’s what a multitude of major players in business, tech, and social media expect in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s Facebook news conference.

While it remains to be seen what Facebook’s “press event” this afternoon will unveil, the Apple-esque nature of the occasion is helping to generate no shortage of hype before the announcement comes.

From talk of a robust new search feature to a Facebook-branded smartphone, the rumor mill has cooked up a healthy bounty of possibilities for today’s event.

Of course, we may also just be hyping the news for nothing as some believe today’s announcement will deliver little more than a formal unveiling of the company’s new headquarters.

“The early money is on search engine-related news, given its high financial stakes,” says Jon Swartz of USA Today. “Google’s share of the overall U.S. mobile ad market — 57%, compared with Facebook’s 9% — is largely because of its search business.”

Facebook shares have so far climbed this week, touching $30 on renewed optimism – much of which stems from speculation ahead of today’s press event. If Facebook delivers, Wall Street may be very kind to the social network. If not, Apple references will again be rampant, but mostly as they pertain to the massive selloff AAPL has endured since October.

What are your expectations for today’s Facebook event? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.

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