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We're just weeks away from the Facebook IPO, and today, the company filed an amended S-1 detailing the price it will seek for its shares.

According to that S-1, Facebook plans to sell some 337m shares at a price between $28 and $35. In this price range, the company will be valued at somewhere between roughly $75bn to $95bn.

At the higher end of its price range, Facebook could raise more than $10bn, cementing its status as the richest tech IPO ever.

That may be sweat music to the ears of Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who plans to sell approximately $1bn of his stock in the offering, as well as other early Facebook employees and investors. But the valuation Facebook is seeking is less than the $100bn valuation numerous sources had claimed the company would ask for just weeks ago.

That has some of the investors who bought shares of Facebook stock through secondary markets on edge. The Wall Street Journal quotes one such investor, Kevin Landis, who has been accumulating shares of Facebook stock for $31 to $32 per share over the past year, as saying "I've been surprised before, but I'll be surprised again if it ends up pricing at that low end of that range." His hope is that the lower-than-expected price range will spark more demand for Facebook shares, which could result in an early pop.

Landis' comments highlight the fact that Facebook's IPO is really like none other before it. In reality, Facebook is already a publicly-traded company and its IPO is little more than a secondary offering for which members of the general public can get in on the action.

The big question is whether they'll want to. On one hand, it's clear that Facebook still has plenty of potential. The most recent evidence of that: frustrated advertisers who want to give the social network more of their money. On the other hand, there are more than a few ominous signs of challenges ahead, such as the company's quarterly revenue decline and the fact that some social gaming companies are moving their focus to mobile.

At the end of the day, one thing is for sure: Facebook's IPO will be one for the ages. Whether that means investors who buy in the coming weeks will be smiling six months, a year and five years from now is far less certain.

Patricio Robles

Published 3 May, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (3)

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Lawrence Everard

Probably not is the short answer.

The longer answer is something along the lines of the future being so fluid and dynamic, that the likes of Facebook and Google, may well not be part of it.

With the expansive growth in mobile, I think Facebook could face a tougher future. It’s still trying to figure out how to make money on the web... and with revenues decelerated in the first quarter of this year relative to the fourth quarter of last year. This revenue decline is reflected in its IPO pricing.

I think a lot of companies born over the last few years have a very different view of the web, one that doesn’t represent a movement towards Web 3, but simply Web Mobile. For a lot of them the the web is dead.

Given the manner in which Facebook has delayed getting into mobile, regardless of the purchase of Instagram, I do think the road ahead could be a rocky one.

But hey, that’s just my personal opinion

over 4 years ago

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paul cimino

love the Freudian typo "sweat music" (to Zucks ears)

over 4 years ago

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Brad Bombardiere

This will be interesting to watch as the Google VS. Facebook heats up like the rivals of Apple and Microsoft

over 4 years ago

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