As the tech bubble slowly collapses, social media giant Facebook is preparing to go public.

Facebook Inc. is inching closer to an initial public offering that it hopes will value the company at more than $100 billion (NZ $132 billion), according to the Wall Street Journal.

The social networking firm hopes to go public between April to June next year.

The company is exploring raising $10 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) - what would be one of the largest offerings ever - in a deal that might assign Facebook a $100 billion valuation, a number greater than twice that of such stalwarts as Hewlett-Packard Co and 3M Co


Although a Facebook IPO has been hotly anticipated for several years, the company has been vague about whether it would even make such an offering and silent on timing of an IPO. "We're not going to participate in speculation about an IPO," Facebook spokesman Larry Yu told the WSJ.

Facebook now appears poised to go ahead with a deal. But it will likely come to market at a time when investors are questioning the value of some newer Internet businesses, after the share prices of sites like Groupon and LinkedIn plummeted in recent weeks.