Friday, February 3, 2012


The world’s largest social network is going public. Facebook filed the initial paperwork for its public stock offering on February 1, revealing some interesting statistics and future plans in the process.

According to the filing, Facebook now sports a record 845 million active users, up 39 percent from the year before. More than half of Facebook users (483 million) log on to the site daily and 50 percent of users (425 million) access Facebook using their mobile device.

Ancestry.com founder and Google+ tracker Paul Allen announced that, by his estimates, Google+ passed the 100 million user milestone on February 1. He added that the social network is on track to hit at least 400 million users by the end of 2012.

Google CEO Larry Page revealed that Google+ had grown to reach more than 90 million users on January 19 but declined to provide active user figures.

While Google is excited about its mobile future, Facebook is concerned that it will have to change its ad-free policy as mobile usage grows or miss out on a large portion of revenue.

For the time being, Facebook does not display ads to mobile users but reveals in the filing that “the number of ads that we deliver to users and our revenue may be negatively affected unless and until we include ads or sponsored stories on our mobile apps and mobile website.”
Facebook also notes that it will need to maintain a good relationship with developers who create apps for the Facebook platform lest they “choose to build on other platforms, including mobile platforms [such as iOS and Android] controlled by third parties.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook “hopes to raise as much as $10 billion when it begins selling shares this spring.”

Additional interesting facts and figures from Facebook’s IPO:

    * Facebook’s ticker symbol will be FB
    * Facebook’s mission statement is “to make the world more open and connected”
    * The company’s annual revenue is $3.7 billion, its profit is $1 billion and its operating income is $1.8 billion
    * Founder Mark Zuckerberg keeps a “Stay Focused & Keep Shipping” reminder on his desk
    * Zynga accounted for 12% of Facebook’s revenue in 2011
    * There were 100 billion friend connections on the site in December 2011
    * Facebook saw 2.7 billion Likes and Comments per day during the last three months of 2011

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