When it comes to emerging social networking platforms, perhaps no site is more well-known than Facebook. With more than 500 million users around the globe, the popular website may soon look to cash in on its popularity with an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2012.
While there is debate as to whether the business valuation
, which some have pegged as being worth as much as $100 billion, is justified, there are signs that some of the most knowledgeable investment firms are on board. In January, Goldman Sachs and other firms invested $1.5 billion into the private company, bringing its valuation to $50 billion. "We learn those lessons from the dot-com boom at the beginning of the decade that if you pay too much, it's just not going to work out for you," said David Dietze, president and CEO of an investment firm, in an interview on CNBC. Other websites have sought to cash in on popularity as well. The New York Times reports that Groupon, an online coupon company, will go public in the weeks to come with an estimated business valuation of $750 million.