Following in the footsteps of technology titans such as Google and Microsoft, Facebook has decided to go public and make stock in the social networking company available to those who can afford the hefty price tag.

Announcing hopes to raise $5 billion in its initial public offering (IPO), Facebook officially disclosed its financial records late Wednesday in an online filing of the required S-1 registration form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, D.C.

The $5 billion initial public offering is based on how well the company is expected to do in the market and the industry as well as on a reflection of the current state of the economy, according to The New York Daily News. IPOs are set by investment banks and gives a company the opportunity to drastically increase capital.

The SEC obligates all companies acquiring more than 500 investors to begin releasing its earning statements quarterly. Currently, several investment banking institutions have made ties into the IPO, including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley, which is heading the initiative, according to ABC News.

“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected,” said 27-year-old co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in a statement to investors.

“By focusing on our mission and building great services, we believe we will create the most value for our shareholders and partners over the long term– and this in turn will enable us to keep attracting the best people and building more great serves.”

Earnings released by the company, which began in 2004 when Zuckerberg was still an undergrad student at Harvard College, show that the company pulled in $3.7 billion in 2011 alone, with profits topping off at $1 billion. According to CBS, Zuckerberg owns 28.4 percent of the company, which receives 2.7 billion “likes” or comments every day from 483 million daily users.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer