Facebook's IPO prospects boost

2012-01-31 22:14

San Francisco - The hottest IPO in recent history just got even hotter.

According to new research issued on Tuesday, Facebook now accounts for 28% of all US online display advertising, up from 21% a year ago.

The research by web tracking firm Comscore, found the social networking giant far outstripping its nearest rival Yahoo, which accounted for 11% of the market, with both Google and Microsoft even further behind with less than 5% each.

The new figures were released just as Facebook is expected to file initial paperwork for what would easily be the biggest IPO in tech history, with the company hoping to raise $10bn on the share markets, at a price that would value the company at a staggering $100bn.

"Almost three out of every 10 ads or so are on Facebook," said Comscore analyst Andrew Lipsman, who noted that the company is able to command higher prices for its ads because they are able to target users effectively.

"If you go back several years there was some hesitation for a lot of brands to advertise on social media," he told the Wall Street Journal. "That's really changed."

Facebook has some 800 million members around the world and it's total revenue for 2011 was $4.27bn, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer. Advertising revenue was $3.8bn and other revenue, including from Facebook Credits, was $470m, estimated eMarketer.

Previously, the largest tech IPO was Google, which raised some $2bns in 2004 on a valuation of some $23bn. The company is now valued at around $189bn.