The rumors have been swirling for years: Facebook will IPO next month, next quarter, next year. But each time it seems that investors are disappointed with no such event. However, 2012 may finally see the long-awaited IPO from the social networking giant. Before you roll your eyes and click out of the page, consider some new developments that make this event very likely. Other than unnamed sources confirming an IPO in early to mid 2012, the company's private stock has been frozen for the past three days, a move that typically coincides with a filing to go public in the near future. "Facebook and companies who do this don't want to expose themselves to lawsuits related to the fact that some people had it before others and were able to trade on it," Sam Hamadeh, CEO of private company research firm PrivCo, told Bloomberg. "The best way to protect yourself is to have no one able to trade" [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
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It should be noted that Facebook has halted its shares before in order to update its list of shareholders, but with all of the rumors swirling, it appears that this time may be the real deal. Early reports put the company as a member of the tech-heavy Nasdaq along with a hefty valuation topping $100 billion. That would mark the largest IPO in history. It should come as no surprise however, given the massive global reach that the company has. The social network is available in multiple countries, multiple languages, and was home to over 800 million active users as of September of 2011.