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How BIG is Facebook?

We knew Facebook was bigĀ : you don’t get to 800 million
users without making a few bucks — but until today, we didn’t know just how

Facebook filed papers for an initial public offering on Wednesday, pulling back the curtains on the inner workings of the world’s largest social networking site and opening a new phase in the company’s ambitious plan to compile, and make money off of, our personal information. Facebook seeks to raise $5 billion in an IPO that looks likely to be the largest by a web company since Google in 2004 and could place the social network’s value as high as $75 billion to $100 billion.

Facebook Expansion will it continue to Grow?

Facebook looks more seasoned than many of its Silicon Valley peers had when they announced plans to go public. According to the prospectus it filed with the SEC, Facebook has been profitable for the past three years. The company reported revenues of $3.7 billion last year, an 88 percent increase over the prior year, and earned a $1 billion profit, more than Google’s total revenue the year it debuted on public markets. Facebook’s income also dwarfs that of other internet companies that recently completed their IPOs. Zynga’s profits totaled $90.6 million in 2010, for example, while LinkedIn had barely flirted with profitability when it filed for its IPO and Pandora was still hundreds of millions of dollars short of breaking even.

Advertising comprises a full 85 percent of Facebook’s revenues, down from 98 percent in 2009. Zynga alone accounts for 12 percent of Facebook’s total revenues, as the social gaming company must pay Facebook a cut of purchases made in Zynga’s Facebook games.

Facebook revealed impressive statistics about its growing and active userbase, which totals 845 million members, more than half of whom, or 483 million, return to the site daily. These hundreds of millions of users have shared more than 100 petabytes (100 quadrillion bytes) of photos and videos with Facebook, and produced an average of 2.7 billion “likes” and comments a day in the final three months of 2011.

The company’s stunning growth will prove difficult, if not impossible, to sustain, however. Facebook has reached a 60 percent penetration in the U.S. and U.K., according to the company’s own estimates, and Facebook warned investors to expect its expansion to slow.


Discussion Questions:

1. Read and review the IPO, click on this link: Is this what you imagined an IPO would contain as investors information?

2. In your opinion will Facebook continue to grow?

3. Do you believe that the market capitalization of $100 billion is realistic?

To read more about the Facebook IPO: Visit Huff Post Tech Canada






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