Feb 1, 2012
This article is part of a series called Financial.

Facebook did today what everyone expected: It filed for an IPO.

In the paperwork submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said it expects to raise $5 billion from the public sale of its stock. That’s based on the registration fee it paid. The New York Times says it could end up raising much more.

Facebook reported in its S-1 filing that it earned $1 billion on revenue of $3.7 billion, most of it coming from advertising. It reported having 845 million monthly active users as of the end of the year, a 39 percent increase over the year before. In the U.S., Facebook saw a 16 percent bump over 2010, ending last year with 161 million monthly average users, or about half the country’s total population.

Its average daily user count is 483 million, meaning more than half those who visit the site in a month do so every day. The company also reported 425 million monthly mobile users, a number it expects will grow with some of it replacing PC access.

With numbers like these it’s not surprising that employers have been flocking to build Facebook profiles and encourage their workers, customers and others to “like” them.

Recruiters began embracing Facebook years ago, seeing it as a way to expand the reach of their employer branding. Many began by combing through Facebook profiles as part of candidate vetting.  Now, companies regularly see Facebook as both a branding tool and a way to develop prospect communities.

Increasingly, Facebook is becoming a sourcing tool. BranchOut, which launched on Facebook 18 months ago, enables users to create business-only networks that can be accessed by recruiters. BeKnown, launched by Monster last summer, is similar.

Both BranckOut and BeKnown also connected with LinkedIn. But not long after the BeKnown launch, LinkedIn shut off access. That hasn’t put much of a damper on either site. BranchOut has about 2.7 million monthly average users. BeKnown has 260,000.

A third site is poised to announce its own Facebook connection later tonight, Pacific time.

This article is part of a series called Financial.
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