'May 18 Date' For Facebook Shares Floatation
Facebook will reportedly launch its initial public offering, expected to be the largest ever by an internet-based company, on May 18.
The social networking website is set to start its 'roadshow' designed to stir interest in the company's stock on Monday, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting Silicon Valley sources.
The roadshow will involve a series of meetings with prospective investors.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, is expected to attend some of those meetings.
If the roadshow goes smoothly, Facebook will hold its IPO, which could raise as much as $10bn (£6bn) and value the company at around $100bn (£60bn), on May 18.
But while all these dates were planned, the California-based company could still push events back a day or two, the sources told the Journal.
Facebook has not responded to the US newspaper report.
Facebook, with 900 million users worldwide, has built a $3bn-a-year (£1.8bn) advertising business by convincing companies to buy new forms of advertising designed to create buzz around their brands.
Facebook sells traditional display and search ads on their sites, like Google and Yahoo, but also pushes new methods that have not been fully tested.
Some advertisers with big spending accounts have voiced concerns over the difficulties of measuring the results of social media advertising.
Car firm Kia Motors has advertised on Facebook since 2009 and plans to increase its ad spending on the site, but its vice president of marketing, Michael Sprague, said: "The question with Facebook and many of the social media sites is, 'What are we getting for our dollars?'"
Last week, Facebook's advertising growth showed signs of stalling.
The company reported its first-quarter ad revenue rose 37% to $872m (£538m) from a year ago, but it was down 7.5% from the previous three months.
Facebook blamed "seasonal trends" for the decline, as well as shifting user growth where the company generates less revenue per user.