Amid news out today that Facebook's growth has slowed -- and that it has actually lost a few million members in the United States over the past couple of months -- the social network is busy preparing for an IPO in early 2012. It could be the biggest IPO in history. The Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes has all of the details:
Unable to sell their private shares, Facebook employees are growing restless, and according to Kate Kelly at CNBC, an initial public offering is expected in the first quarter of 2012. Kelly reports, "A factor in the company's IPO timing is the Securities and Exchange Commission's requirement that some companies like Facebook must disclose financial information if they have more than 500 private investors." The latest IPO speculation and record high valuation is prefaced, however, by a mixed bag of recent numbers showing flagging usership in some of Facebook's top markets.
Just over a year ago, Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview that user anxiety over privacy settings would wane. Like they did with the introduction of the News Feed in 2006, a bunch of users would complain but would eventually come around to realize that the social network's more open approach made for a better Facebook experience. At Europe's e-G8 forum, the company's founder responded to questions about the flak Facebook received after a flurry of controversy over new privacy settings and Zuckerberg saying he "doesn't believe in privacy." But the users would prevail, the young CEO said. "One of the good things about the Internet is you can just kind of build something, and people will choose to use it or not."
Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.