Facebook’s long awaited IPO is now expected to occur next month. May 17 is the date that has been targeted for the release. An IPO, which stands for Initial Public Offering, is when a company begins to sell its stock to the public. Companies do this in order to raise money. Facebook is looking to raise roughly $5 billion from its initial stock sale. If that occurs, then the company will be valued at close to $100 billion. Facebook will trade under the stock symbol FB.
The social networking giant released some impressive numbers ahead of its foray into the stock world. Becoming a publicly traded company means opening up the books to the public eye. Some of the more notable statistics revealed were that Facebook has crossed the 900 million monthly active user mark. Last year that number stood at 680 million. The company boasts 526 million users that are active daily, which is up from 372 million a year ago. That is a rather large advertising base to build on.
Some other insane statistics include the 300 million photos that are uploaded to the site everyday. That raises serious questions about why Facebook decided to buy photo sharing company Instagram. They paid $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of common stock for the company. It seems Facebook was doing just fine in the photo sharing department.
Facebook’s revenue for the first quarter was $1.058 billion. That was an increase from the first quarter of 2011, which saw revenue of $731 million. Those numbers are sure to impress investors, but how much is the big question. Facebook has been dogged by concerns that it has not fully monetized its enormous customer base as well as Google has.
Speaking of the big G, investors will almost certainly be watching the growth of Google’s rival socail network, Google+. The tech giant recently announced that it had surpassed 100 million active daily users. The network’s video hangouts have turned out to be extremely popular, and the company has successfully brought millions of users on board by advertising the network in its other products. Gmail and Youtube users are all heavily influenced to try out Google+.
Facebook’s stock will likely see a nice rise after it hits the market. Its long term viability is still in question. Myspace looked like an unstoppable juggernaut at one time. We all know how that worked out. With intense competition in the form of Google, Facebook is not a sure thing to last forever, or even a long time.