If Facebook goes public, what will it be worth?

Back in August, Fortune made the case that the giant social network could be worth $50 billion. Among the reasons: Facebook was cash-flow positive, had more than 500 million subscribers, was pushing into new businesses and was on track to generate more user visits than Google (GOOG).

Another report from Bloomberg said Facebook was worth about $25 billion late last year, based on how investors were valuing its shares on two private exchanges for venture-backed companies, though prices aren't made public.

Now, there's a new report out from financial research firm Trefis that pegs Facebook's value at $45 billion today. But Trefis says if the company can double its ad revenue per page, increase its page views by 50%, gain a 10% share of the search market and double its per-user revenue generated by games, its value could soar to $125 billion.

Do Your Own Forecast: Click on the Interactive Facebook Graph Below:

Those may sound like pretty big ifs, but Facebook may have what it needs to get there.

It just announced that it has come up with a way for marketers to sponsor your activities and the activities of your friends on Facebook. When you do something on Facebook, such as click on the "Like" button for a comment someone else made, it shows up in the News Feed. A company can now take your action, sponsor it and broadcast it to your friends.

Say you check-in at Coca-Cola (COKE). The company could pay Facebook to broadcast that to your friends, as a Sponsored Story.

But while advertisers would likely love this, it could also spark a backlash from Facebook users who don't want their actions getting monetized by Zuckerberg & Co.

Either way, investors are generally very bullish about Facebook's future. The company announced on Jan. 21 that it had raised $1.5 billion in new financing led by Goldman Sachs (GS). Along with Russia's Digital Sky Technologies, Goldman invested $500 million, while the firm's clients overseas invested $1 billion.

Facebook is likely to continue pushing the limits of monetization -- which could change the way advertising works on the Web. It could also put the company on the path to Trefis' $125 billion value.

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It can be worth a trillion as long as it is free. Charge people and watch that half billion customers worldwide go elsewhere.

January 27 2011 at 3:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How come we are always after the italian mob in newsday and nothing a bout the jewish mob on wall street whats up with that

January 26 2011 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 26 2011 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think if "Facebook" is worth so much I would like my cut! After all it is only worth money because of all of the users! So if everyone reallllllyyyyy wanted to show the world the true value start DEACTIVATING YOUR ACCOUNTS!!
I use face book however I could care less if I didn't have it,"worthless to me".

January 26 2011 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its really funny the broker on Wall Street are creating buzz the media is feeding it so that the brain dead americans will hand over there money with out thinking and they will become richer pump and dump and leave the middle class moron holding the bag. wAKE UP AND LETS START MAKING THINGS AND START BUT CUTTING OFF HELPING EVERONE IN THE WORLD AND INVEST THAT MONEY HERE FOR FUCTURE AMERICANS. Oh never mind america is brain dead consumers that are self centered and think of only themselves.

January 26 2011 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Facebook???? A lawyers delight,so many people wrapped up in all the B.S. and getting all that attention (mostly negative)that they didn't get as a child from either mommy or daddy...... how many people will lose there life to a nut that was on facebook time will tell that story....one life is to many as far as I'm concerned but the almighty dollar will win again

January 26 2011 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think ALCOA is worth $100 billion now but it is worth just $15 billion after over 100 years of existence and producing hundreds of billion of pounds of new aluminium over the time.. Why is it that we are still valuing ALCOA so low?? Wall Street has a long history of misplacing our capital in useless vehicles...

January 26 2011 at 4:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Many, many companies exist for so many decades since its IPO and they are already so big . Most of them have yet to see $100 billion valuation that they richly deserve.. We are misplacing our investments while our economy is getting stupider and stupider!!

January 26 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Before anyone put a value on Facebook or the likes, one has to ask himself why it is worth the use of our limited capital that probably can be put to better uses elsewhere. America has a long list of problems that need to be fixed , yet we run around making investments in questionable vehicles like Facebook itself.. What can Facebook do for America really? Is it just for entertainment which we already have too much of that and still want more ? America is already crumbling while we advertise and advertise as if we are playing violins or what??

January 26 2011 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

125B dor Facebook? Don't make me laugh!!!

January 26 2011 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply