Facebook to cash in on mobile ads

By Mark Leftly, Stephen Foley

Facebook is planning to announce that advertising will soon be allowed on its mobile apps, a move designed to bolster its flotation price.

The social media group, which on Thursday filed for a US listing that could value it at as high as US$100 billion ($120 billion), has 425 million smartphone users.

Executives hope to confirm the move before shares start to trade later this year.

It would be another source of revenue devised by the chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg to help justify the high valuation.

Facebook's rival, LinkedIn, is due to update the stock market on its 2011 results soon.

In the first nine months of last year the firm more than doubled revenue to US$355 million.

Investors are also getting their first look at the performance of Groupon, the internet sensation that emails 143 million subscribers with a "daily deal" coupon for local businesses, since the company floated in November.

Facebook is seeking to raise US$5 billion ($6 billion) in the world's largest initial public offering of an internet company. The company said it planned to trade on either the Nasdaq or the NYSE.

Facebook is under pressure to earn more from its 845 million users.


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