The web is buzzing with the news that Facebook has made the first step towards an initial public offering (IPO) and officially filed forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The news that Facebook wants to go public hardly come as a surprise given the rumours of an impending IPO have been circulating for well over a year.
However, interest has been raised because the papers filed with the SEC, as rules demand, provide an unprecedented insight into the operations of one of Silicon Valley's hottest companies.
The public now knows new facts about their favourite social network, as secrets it has guarded closely since its launch in 2004 are now revealed.
The newswires were agog. Facebook IPO filing reveals mobile risks, said The Guardian. Facebook IPO expected to boost Silicon Valley economy, said AMC News. The Washington Post asked if the firm will be listed on the NYSE or the Nasdaq.
The basic facts contained in the filing have been enough to absorb the tech community - actually scrap that, the world at large.
The S1 filing showed Facebook ad revenue increased 69 per cent in 2011. This is quite a rise, although it makes sense given that recent analysis has shown advertisers are paying $1 per user and the site now had 845 million users.
What is noteworthy is that chiefly we now know how much Facebook makes a year. Revenue for 2011 has turned out to be lower than expected at $3.7bn, with previous estimates banded about being as high as $4.3bn.
Also of significance is that last year Facebook made $450m from the sales made by social gaming product Zynga and this accounts for 12 per cent of the firm's total revenue.
The surprise here is that Zynga is not typically linked to Facebook's core service, and of course that the social network gains so much of its income from one single developer.
Another fact that has caught people's attention is that Faceboook had 425 million mobile users active in December last year, according to the IPO filing, although the firm claims it is finding it tough to make any money from them. So this proves even the most powerful giants have a weak spot.
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