If you check out the Facebook IPO filing, you’ll see the following picture:
It shows the extent of the social network’s interconnections. As you can see, it is fairly massive — Facebook has 845 million monthly active users (MAUs). This compares to the global Internet population of roughly 2 billion.
But according to Facebook: “We aim to connect all of them.”
How’s that for ambition?
The Facebook filing also provides some of the penetration rates. Here’s a look:
|Japan||Less than 15%|
|Russia||Less than 15%|
|South Korea||Less than 15%|
The last one is interesting. Facebook is not the only country that has had problems with China. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has seen little traction, for example. Instead, Web companies often need Chinese-based companies to partner with in order to get a foothold in the country. This was the approach when Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) invested $1 billion in Alibaba. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also has partnered with Chinese companies to get distribution for its web offerings, like Bing.
But when it comes to social networking, even this strategy could prove difficult. This type of technology is extremely hard to monitor and control. From the Facebook S-1: “(The) market has substantial legal and regulatory complexities that have prevented our entry into China to date.”
Perhaps this is why Renren (NYSE:RENN) — the “Facebook of China” — has seen its stock soar recently.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.