As Facebook Hits A $50 Billion Valuation, Will It Go Public?

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After a $500 million investment from Goldman Sachs and a big time Russian investment firm, Facebook ‘s value jumps to a stunning $50 billion, making the company worth more than competing companies eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner.

(More on Techland: Facebook Forecast 2011: Mobile & E-Commerce)

The new investment comes at the beginning of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into both parties: Facebook is under fire for potential overinflated value by way of limited shareholder trading and Goldman over alleged misleadings during the market collapse in 2008.

Under pressure to go public from the SEC prod, we should expect a Facebook announcement soon, but is there a rush? Yes and no. Though threats of investigation won’t really manifest for a few months, the last thing Facebook wants is the Commission digging around its sock drawer. So far, both Facebook and Goldman have declined to comment on the investment or the possibility of an IPO, though now the stage is set for the inevitable. As Reuters reported earlier, Goldman is now in the driver’s seat to take the company public, becoming Facebook’s personal banking operation, so-to-speak.

(More on TIME: Is Facebook Really Worth $50 Billion?)

So what will that mean for users? Initially, not a thing. The money will eventually allow to Facebook to bank another round of high-profile hiring poaches from its competitors, and who knows, perhaps it will make another pass at Twitter, which we now know turned down an initial buyout for a $500 million stake in Facebook stock. CEO Biz Stone told the Financial Times that the company declined the offer in order to create a real revenue stream out of the microblogging platform, a plan Stone has been unsuccessful at so far. As of now, Twitter still runs at a loss despite it’s $3.7 billion valuation, dwarfed by Facebook’s now $50 billion value and a projected 2010 revenue of $2 billion. Perhaps it’s time to rethink?

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