Facebook is the most popular “social networking” website in the world and it may be for sale soon. Or at least part of it.
A “social networking” website is one that lets people meet and chat with each other—not face-to-face, but over the Internet. Facebook and Twitter are two popular social networking websites.
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook with some university friends in 2004. Recently, he decided to “go public” with Facebook. In this case, that means people he doesn’t even know will be allowed to buy a share (part) of the company.
Right now, Facebook is privately owned by some individuals and companies. Zuckerberg himself owns 24 per cent or almost one-quarter of Facebook–the largest portion.
When a company “goes public,” it is given a value (for instance, Facebook is said to be worth $100-billion) and that value is divided into “shares.” Those shares, which each represent a tiny piece of the value of the company, are then offered for sale.