Who wants to be a hundred-billionaire?

The day is nearing– the day when Mark Zuckerberg’s estimated $100 billion masterpiece Facebook is expected to sell up to $10 billion of the company to the stock market. Banks and Wall Street are going crazy about what just may be the biggest transaction and technology-related IPO (initial public offering) in history.

$100,000,000,000. Eleven zeroes. How can Facebook truly be worth this much? The answer can be broken down into three main reasons: number of users, time spent by users, and its connection to modern life. By May 2012, the the expected time of the IPO, Facebook will have over 800 million users. One-seventh the world’s population and growing. Facebook claims these are active users, defined as a user that is likely to use Facebook “any given day.” What makes this number so powerful is the amount of time spent on Facebook. The average U.S. user spends seven hours and 45 minutes on Facebook per month–procrastinating college students likely spend even more. YouTube and Google do not even compare at under 2 hours per month. Facebook is a destination, where users go to stay. This leads to a lot of attention. A lot of advertising opportunity. A lot of games being played and apps being used. And a lot of information being gathered by Facebook to create a goldmine for advertisers. The final reason Facebook is such a gem is its presence in everyday life. Facebook is utilized by stores, restaurants, businesses, politicians, schools… the list goes on. It is on computers, phones, tablets, and nearly anything else with an internet connection. If somebody wants to get a message out or gather information about something, Facebook is now the place to do so.

It is pretty clear why bankers and other potential stock purchasers are going crazy. When one begins to think about how huge Facebook has become, suddenly those eleven zeroes do not seem too crazy. Keep an eye out this summer for a chance to own a tiny fraction of this multi-billion-dollar jewel.

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