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Well, the day everybody(well, everybody that has a stock portfolio) has been expecting and waiting for is finally coming. Facebook is going public...they filed yesterday and it will probably be in May. Some people thought they had waited too long, that Mark Zuckerberg should have taken Facebook public before the buzz cooled off. I guess we'll see whether he was right or wrong, but all signs point to THIS being one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST IPO's in history....certainly in Internet Business history. I've posted several articles below about the topic. Facebook IPO: $5 Billion Filing to Sell Stock in May Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers a keynote address during the Facebook f8 conference, Sept. 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) By NED POTTER (@NedPotterABC) Feb. 1, 2012 Facebook, in one of the world's most widely anticipated IPOs, or initial public offerings of stock, filed papers this afternoon to raise at least $5 billion and begin to sell stock this spring. The filing was made online with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington. If all goes as planned, it will likely take until May for Facebook stock to begin trading on a stock exchange. "There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, in a letter that accompanied the filing. "The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on. "We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other," he said. Zuckerberg, now 27, famously started Facebook when he was a student at Harvard University in 2004. Today, it has more than 800 million active users, and Zuckerberg said they have made more than 100 billion connections with each other. Facebook, along the way, has made a lot of money. It revealed in today's filing that in 2011 it had profits of $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion. "It is a major sign of maturation" for Facebook to go public, said Lawrence Summers, the former secretary of the Treasury who was president of Harvard when Zuckerberg began Facebook. "It means more cash flow, it means even more visibility, it means even more responsibility to shareholders, but also to the broader society. "It is both a recognition of what has been accomplished, and it points to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has done a remarkable thing in building a global institution in a very short time," said Summers. Several major investment banks are involved in the IPO, with Morgan Stanley in the lead role. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and JP Morgan are also included. Analysts said that this offering will change the Internet sector, creating what will be one of the world's most valuable Internet companies. "Will Facebook's IPO be the biggest IPO in American history? Probably not," said David Kirkpatrick, author of "The Facebook Effect." "But it will certainly be, by far, the biggest Internet or technology IPO we've ever seen." Others warned that Facebook may not be a surefire winner for small investors looking to make some quick money. Certainly, Facebook has been profitable, but it has already made a great deal of money as a private company. It has more than 800 million active users -- up 45 percent in 2011 -- but growth in the United States and other Western countries has already begun to slow. Most of its recent growth in membership has been in countries such as Brazil and India. Why go public now, anyway? Since Facebook already has more than 500 investors, it is required to make certain financial information public anyway under SEC regulations. The deadline to file this information expires in April. Zuckerberg reportedly decided to go public once it became clear that the company had become too big to keep its finances private. By going public, Facebook loses some of its mystery and cool, having to declare profits and losses and answer to shareholders every quarter. But the company will have access to new cash and can use the value of its stock to acquire other companies and to reward its employees. Many of Facebook's 3,000 employees could now become Silicon Valley millionaires. Zuckerberg, himself, is already said to be the world's youngest billionaire. The SEC filing showed that he asked to reduce his salary to $1 per year starting next Jan. 1. "We believe that we have an opportunity to have an important impact on the world and build a lasting company in the process," he wrote in his letter today. ABC News Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report. ___________________________________________ Facebook's IPO filing, by the numbers By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times February 2, 2012 1:39pm. Facebook's IPO filing on Wednesday offers investors, bankers, analysts, journalists and anyone willing to read the massive S-1 document a deeper look at the business and financial side of the world's largest social network than we've ever had before. Our team of tech and business reporters has been digging into the filing, reporting on the Menlo Park, Calif., company's $3.7-billion revenue, rivalries with Twitter and Google+, perspective on China, social mission and hacker ethos, Zynga accounting for 12% of Facebook's revenue, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's pay cut from $600,000 in 2012 to $1 in 2013 and even what the IPO could mean for the Winklevoss twins. But that wasn't all the S-1 had to say. Here are some other highlights from Facebook's IPO filing before the company actually goes public in May: Users: Facebook has an average of 845 million monthly active users, 483 million of whom log into the social network daily. Workforce: At the end of 2011, Facebook had 3,200 full-time employees, up 50% from 2,127 employees 2010. In 2009, the company had 1,218 employees. Worldwide: Facebook's plan, unsurprisingly, is to continue to grow by gaining more users in countries around the world. But the company also said in its S-1 that it plans to grow its workforce worldwide as well. "We plan to continue the international expansion of our business operations and the translation of our products," Facebook said. Currently, Facebook is offered in more than 70 different languages, and the company has data centers in more than 20 different countries. Popularity: Facebook said that about 60% of the online population in the U.S. and U.K. is registered on the social network. But Facebook is more popular in Chile, Turkey and Venezuela, where the company has "penetration rates of greater than 80% of Internet users." There are more than 2 billion Internet users worldwide and Facebook said its goal is to connect all of them through its social network. "In countries such as Brazil, Germany, and India we estimate that we have penetration rates of approximately 20-30%; in countries such as Japan, Russia, and South Korea we estimate that we have penetration rates of less than 15%; and in China, where Facebook access is restricted, we have near 0% penetration," the filing said. Money in the bank: Facebook said that it had $1.5 billion at its disposal in a mix of "cash and cash equivalents" as of Dec. 31, as well as $2.3 billion in "marketable securities." In 2010, Facebook had $1.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents and no marketable securities. Total assets on hand amounted to $6.6 billion in 2011, while Facebook had a total of $1.4 billion in liabilities. R&D: Facebook's research and development efforts have seen massive growth over the last few years. In 2011, the company spent $388 million, or about 10.5% of its revenue, on R&D. In 2010, Facebook spent less than half that amount, with $144 million going toward R&D. In 2009, the company spend $87 million on R&D, up from $47 million in 2008 and $81 million in 2007. Patents: Faceook said a major factor in whether or not the company will be able to maintain the huge success it's had thus far will ride on its ability to "protect our core technology and intellectual property." To do that, Facebook will "rely on a combination of patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, including know-how, license agreements, confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties, employee disclosure and invention assignment agreements, and other contractual rights." The social media giant ended 2011 with 56 patents and 503 patent applications filed in the U.S., along with 33 corresponding patents and 149 patent applications filed in foreign countries. RELATED: Facebook's S-1 already has a (fake) Twitter account Facebook IPO: Winklevoss twins could reap big payday Facebook IPO: Mark Zuckerberg's salary falling to $1 in 2013 -- Nathan Olivarez-Giles