by Maggie Winterfeldt
The popular, eight-year-old social media site Facebook is finally going pubic. The online giant filed for an Initial Public Offering of stock on Wednesday.
The company is valued at an estimated $100 billion dollars, making an expected 5 or 10 percent public share worth a historic $5-10 billion dollars. Fellow dot-com giant Google was valued at $23 billion dollars when it went public, about one-fifth of Facebook's value.
USC computer science engineering professor Dr. Duncan Buell attributes Facebook's high price tag to the fact that it waited much longer than Google to go public. He says the bad economy may have contributed to the delay.
Buell says the change should not affect the user experience.
"I wouldn't anticipate major changes, no. I think there may be a slow turn, there may be some changes in IP policy, there may be a little more advertising," said Buell.
He added that it's possible that creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg may become less involved in the day-to-day running of the business and take time to enjoy himself and even pursue new tech start up opportunities.
The sale will make many people multi-millionaires, including early investors and employees who were paid in stock when the company was just starting.
Facebook will appear on stock market ticker's as FB.