January 30th, 2012
01:05 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) - Facebook may soon update its status from “private” to “public” in what will likely be the biggest tech IPO in history. Reports say the social network could file registration papers as soon as Wednesday, for an initial public offering this May.

The tech giant is aiming to raise a whopping $10 billion. That would eclipse the previous U.S. IPO tech record set by Google. In 2004, the search engine and e-mail provider, raked in just under $2 billion.

If that $10 billion goal is met, it would give Facebook a value of between $75 billion and $100 billion.

However, the big question is: Can Facebook really be worth that much?

Its exact profitability - if it is profitable at all - is only known to some company insiders. But according to estimates from research firm eMarketer, we do have some idea of its annual revenue.

In 2011, Facebook is believed to have pulled in about $3.8 billion from advertisements like those “sponsored” sites on the right side of your Facebook page. That figure was just more than 100% higher than its 2010 number, and more than 400% in 2009.

One thing is certain: many of Facebook’s 3,000 employees will become millionaires overnight.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Jenny

    I think a wildcard here is the fact that there are millions of users that either hate or are beginning to hate Facebook and are quitting or just not really going anymore. Granted, Facebook can afford to lose a few million users and still pay the bills – but the bad word of mouth buzz going into an IPO would be a little alarming to me if I was a Facebook employee.


    January 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Truth

    3000 Employees .. like that helped the economy Wendeys employes more people then fb.

    January 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  3. metaljuice_gmail

    The only problem I have with facebook is it wastes too much time. I'm a web developer who is interested in making a social network that allows users to earn money. It would have a taste of getafreelancer.com, be able obtain services from the government and businesses, buy and sell like on ebay etc. Facebook needs to change from socializing to living.

    January 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  4. samdebey

    I'll pay 10 grand, that's it! take it or leave it. 10,000 cash Mark, 10,000!!!! do it

    January 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  5. Robert

    On a regular basis, I meet so many people who hate Facebook, that it makes me wonder why it is so overvalued.

    People on there need to get a LIFE. No one's life is SO important that they need to Facebook it. Enough!

    January 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  6. dbw

    a fad who's day is almost done. Milk it while you can.

    January 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  7. MobiusEight

    What is it worth? Nothing. Everything.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  8. James V

    facebook is suffering from feature creep, Every month is new this new that that keeps changing it. allot of people liked the old face book that it started out as, not MyFaceSpaceBook

    January 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  9. Steven

    How much is Facebook worth to me? Not a continental damn. Don't use it. Don't need it.

    January 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  10. james

    absolute rubbish. I predict its demise within a year !

    January 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  11. Benny

    well even if it is overvalued. then it will always be. its worth is linked to the number of users. imagine china open up for fb.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  12. Sari

    you can all criticize as much as like you like, but here's some facts you must face;
    Facebook was the main cause and source of communication for the Revolutions.
    It connected long lost friends.
    It's one of the best marketing tools.
    Event planning.
    and now the best source of communication (other than twitter) to the inside of the Syrian Revolution.
    But in my opinion having your own Blog or even having a twitter account is much more efficient for cyber activism and such.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  13. Izzie Nutz

    What you all don't get is that it doesn't matter what Facebook is doing, has done, or will do. This is just another game in the "casino" called Wall Street. The "casino" (investment bankers) and the "dealer" (Facebook) are guaranteed to win, no matter what happens, and the "players" (investors), are pretty much guaranteed to lose over the long haul. But the early buyers will make a fortune when they re-sell the stock. It used to be that capital markets helped companies grow and create jobs when they needed money to do so. But Facebook doesn't need any money. Now the game is all about founders and employees cashing out, with the help of investment bankers who get first dibs on all the shares they want, supposedly for their "expertise" in selling something that more than enough people already want to buy. Microsoft has made $130 billion in profits over the last 10 years, and their stock price has increased....uhhhh.....oh...it's lower than it was Feb. 1, 2002.

    January 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  14. chris

    hhmm makes me wonder well thats facebook for you private or public either facebook ia a winner and mark knows why

    January 31, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  15. johnny lazy jr

    For now, but for how long? There's no telling when it will take the same course as Friendster or MySpace as everyone can come and go as they please.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  16. Aggregate

    Facebook is worth the stupidity of half of its population and attention craving of remaining half (with a tiny bit of people who really have no other way to stay connected). That is, until people stop giving attention to the attention seekers while the stupid people start discovering their sensitive posts and data being posted all over the web over the coming years and Facebook goes the Myspace way.

    January 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |
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