Facebook is not planning to IPO until 2012 in order to give itself more time to grow its user base and grow sales, according to reports. The company, which has revenues of US$800m, recently secured its 500 millionth user.
According to a Bloomberg report, three people familiar with the subject said the company intends to use the time wisely, to grow sales, resolve the plethora of privacy issues and ultimately gain more users.
Judging the pace of growth, allied with the growth of the internet and the spread of smartphone devices, it is likely that in two years’ time social-networking giant Facebook could reach the 1-billion user mark.
It is envisaged that in terms of sales – from online advertising with major brands, classifieds, branding opportunities for businesses via Facebook Marketplace, the Facebook Credits currency and, of course, the rise and rise of social gaming – Facebook could boost sales from US$800m this year to US$1.4bn next year.
The company, which was started by Mark Zuckerberg six years ago on the Harvard campus, has become the second most-visited site on the internet and is to be the subject of a movie, The Social Network, which will debut in October.
In 2007, Microsoft paid US$240m for a 1.6pc shareholding in the company. Last year, Digital Sky Technologies bought a 1.9pc stake in the company for US$200m, valuing it at US$10bn.
Facebook is currently valued at upwards of US$20bn, providing the 26-year-old Zuckerberg a personal fortune of more than US$4bn based on his 24pc shareholding.