Originally published: March 12, 2012
Last updated: March 12, 2012 - 3:25pm
According to its own statistics, Facebook had 845 million active users at the end of December last year -- more than 425 million of whom use the site daily. The company's reach across languages, cultures and generations has made it a feature of the 21st century web. Its pure scale has led to an almost insurmountable ubiquity. Facebook's impending multi-billion dollar initial public offering may be a seismic event for the tech venture-capital industry. The company has become synonymous with the term social networking. For investors, the demonstration effect of the latest round of IPOs, which have delivered huge returns for early investors, and the numbers swirling around the Facebook filing, show the potential payouts for those willing to take a punt on emerging technology. The sector, while still risky, is also far less closely correlated to the macroeconomic woes of the euro zone than most other developed asset classes.