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Press Trust Of India
August 06, 2012
Facebook may be continuing to gain ground in social networking space, but its per-user valuation has more than halved to USD 47 in less than three months since its much-hyped debut in the stock market. As per the latest disclosure by Facebook, the social networking giant now commands a base of 955 active users -- up from about 900 million prior to its IPO in May this year.

Facebook's India user base has also grown to 59 million from 45 million during this period. However, a sharp plunge in the company's share price has led to total valuation of Facebook's India users nearly halving to USD 2.8 billion, from more than USD 5 billion at the time of IPO.

The total market valuation of the world's largest social network now stands at USD 45 billion, down from a value of USD 104 billion it commanded at its Initial Public Offer (IPO) price of USD 38 each. The shares are currently trading near USD 21 level and had dipped below USD 20 last week.

As per its current market value, users of Mark Zuckerburg-led Facebook would be valued at about USD 47 each, down from USD 115 each based on the company's IPO valuation.

However, if we exclude a total of 83 million users identified as 'fake' by Facebook itself, the company's current per-user valuation would go up to USD 51.

Facebook has said that nearly 8.7 per cent of its users are either 'duplicate' or 'false', which takes the total number of its fake users to 83 million as on June 30, 2012. On a pro-rata basis, Facebook would have over five million fake users in India.

Despite a continuing growth in its user base and its rising advertising revenue, Facebook is yet to embark on a smooth stock market journey, where it has faced numerous roadblocks like falling stock price and technical glitches right from the beginning.

Based on the company's total revenue, each of Facebook users generate more than USD one dollar for the company every quarter.

The users identified as 'fake' by Facebook include the "duplicate" accounts that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account, as also the 'false' accounts of the people.