Social networking site Facebook has announced plans to float on the stock market, in what is expected to be the biggest ever sale of shares by a US internet company.
Technology entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is seeking to raise $5bn (£3.16bn), and intends to float with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
This represents the biggest public float by a technology company in US history, overtaking the $1.67bn generated by Google's float in 2004.
The company has become one of the biggest online businesses in the world in less than a decade.
It was revealed that founder Zuckerberg owns 28.4% of Facebook, and that the website now has 845 million monthly users with 443m members using the site every day.
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg explained in a letter to potential shareholders that Facebook was aiming to continue producing new products and services.
He said: "We don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services. These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits."
Revenue is mainly drawn from its online advertising, and the number of ads on the site rose by 42% in 2011, while the price per ad grew by 18%.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017