Mark Zuckerberg has reason to smile as he leads a company that could top $100 billion when it goes public.
The mother of all IPOs could give birth as early as next year.
While the social-networking world was paying close attention to LinkedIn's initial public offering last month, everyone is really waiting to see what Facebook does.
The Social Network will reportedly go public in the first quarter of 2012, according to sources who spoke with CNBC.
The valuation of a Facebook IPO could reportedly top a staggering $100 billion. Still the decision to go public early next year may not be entirely Facebook's to make.
The number may not be that far off. CNBC reports that SharesPost, a private exchange that buys shares of non-public companies, recently sold 100,000 shares of the company for $3.4 million, which puts Facebook's valuation at $85 billion.
A Securities and Exchange Commission's requirement that private companies with more than 500 investors pubicly disclose financial information may ultimately force Facebook's hand.
The Palo Alto-based social network is expected to surpass that number by the end of the year at the latest. Employees wanting to sell their shares on an open market could also push Facebook to pull the IPO trigger.
The company recently limited how many shares its workers could sell on the secondary market.