Numbers soared to surprising heights when LinkedIn went public, so naturally rumor has it Facebook (news, site) is is preparing itself for an IPO that could surpass US $100 billion.
The report comes to us via CNBC, which says the IPO is likely to happen during the first quarter of 2012. This date makes sense, as it falls in line with the company’s deadline for reporting its financial information, regardless of whether it’s private or public at the time.
Some perspective: should Facebook’s IPO meet expectations, it would be one of the largest in history, quadrupling Google’s US $23 billion IPO in 2004.
Whether or not this is as good of a thing as it sounds like for Goldman Sachs, the network’s main investor, remains to be seen. While certainly still a giant, Facebook’s growth has reportedly begun to slow.
According to the latest report from Inside Facebook, the network’s membership growth was 11.8 million in May and 13.9 million in April. And while that might not seem like a deal breaking difference, it does serve to highlight a couple of particularly unsettling numbers: Facebook lost roughly 6 million US users in May and another 1.5 million users in Canada during the same time period.
Still, Facebook’s international popularity is becoming increasingly significant, as the network gained 1 million users from locations such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines.
What do you think of the reported IPO numbers, and what aspects of the impending mania give cause for concern? Let us know in the comments below.