When Mark Zuckerberg made the move to acquire Instagram for $1 billion -- Facebook's largest acquisition ever, and one that Zuckerberg negotiated almost entirely on his own without involving his board of directors, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal -- he may have tipped his hand and revealed how much the world's largest social playground is worth. That figure? At least $75 billion, if you can believe it.
Citing "people briefed on the negotiations who did not want to be identified because the discussions were private," Mercury News claims the Instagram deal included a 30 percent cash payment and the remaining 70 percent in stock, which would value Facebook at more than $75 billion.
As crazy as that sounds, Facebook is likely to trade at a higher market value when it goes public, presumably on May 17, 2012, according TechCrunch's "multiple sources close to the company." Those unidentified sources believe Facebook will ultimately be valued at around $100 billion, a figure they came up with based on the level of trading in secondary markets where shares have been trading for as much as $40.
To put that $100 billion valuation in perspective, it's the equivalent to winning the recent record breaking $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, by yourself, more than 152 times over, before taxes.