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Facebook readies $5B IPO

Social network giant and gaming platform Facebook will soon be a publicly-traded company, following a year that saw $1 billin in profits on $3.7 million in revenue.
The rumors were (mostly) true: on Wednesday, Facebook filed for an initial public offering with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Though the $5 billion it plans to raise is just half of the $10 billion recent rumors suggested, the amount is still staggering. For reference, Google's IPO opened at $1.9 billion in 2004. Facebook generates revenue in essentially two ways: through advertising, and through payments, traditionally through the Facebook Credits system mandated to all of its games that offer in-game transactions. While advertising still represents the bulk of Facebook's revenue, a respectable 15 percent comes from payment transactions. According to the company, "substantially all" of these payments come from social games on the platform, and most of that comes from Zynga. In fact, according to Facebook, Zynga alone generated 12 percent of its total revenue in 2011, or approximately $445 million dollars. Total revenue for Facebook in 2011 was $3.7 billion; $1 billion of that was profit. As of December 31, Facebook claims 845 million daily active users. As this is its initial filing, it not known when or where Facebook shares will trade, nor has the company declared how much it is worth, though analyst estimates put its valuation at between $75 and $100 billion.

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