Nightly News   |  January 29, 2012

Facebook poised for IPO

The social networking giant could file as early as this week. CNBC's Silicon Valley Correspondent Jon Fortt explains.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the news out of silicon valley that has a lot of people talking. reports that facebook is preparing for a major status update, a move that would vault the social networking giant into the ranks of the largest public companies in the world. john ford covers the tech industry for cnbc. he joins from us san jose to break down how big this deal could be. a lot of folks are going to want to get in on the ground floor of this. how big are we talking about?

>> massive amounts of money here, lester. we're talking about in the neighborhood of $75 billion to $100 billion, potentially, more than i've got in my bank account . let's compare it to something. when google went public, it was a massive ipo around $23 billion. this is three to four times bigger, about the size at $100 billion of one mcdonald's, or half of a walmart. this is for a company, sure, almost everybody uses. facebook , it's got 800 million active users, but few people know how they make money, through advertising and transactions. this takes facebook definitely to another level.

>> end of the day we're still talking about an investment. you said 800 million users, it leads me to question how much more potential does this company have to grow?

>> well, the interesting thing about facebook , yes, more than 800 million users at this point. some estimates have their reven revenue, their sales for last year, almost $4 billion. they're sort of just getting started. they've only start eed to really figure out ways to get those people paying for things. if they can do that, there's a huge amount of potential here. 800 million, about half the people on the internet right now.

>> amazing. john ford from san