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Facebook first-half revenue doubles, report says

The social network is reportedly also profitable, though, as a private company, it has not publicly divulged those details.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is running a healthy company.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is running a healthy company.
James Martin/CNET

Facebook's revenue skyrocketed in the first half of 2011, according to a report from Reuters today.

Citing a source with "knowledge of its financials," the news service said Facebook doubled its first-half revenue this year, growing to $1.6 billion. In addition, Reuters said, the company was able to generate a profit of nearly $500 million.

Since it's a private company, Facebook does not divulge its financial performance. However, that hasn't stopped reports on its financials to continue to crop up.

Early last year, social blog Inside Facebook reported that the social network would generate about $1 billion in 2010, representing a substantial gain over the estimated $700 million it made in 2009. That report was followed earlier this year by research firm eMarketer, which pegged Facebook's advertising revenue in 2010 at $1.86 billion. The research firm estimates the world's largest social network will tally $4.05 billion in revenue this year and $5.74 billion next year.

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That increase in revenue, along with Facebook's march toward 1 billion active users--at last count, the company had 750 million active users--has pushed its valuation up. In June, just months after Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies gave Facebook $500 million on a $50 billion valuation, investment firm GSV acquired 225,000 shares of the social network based on a valuation of $70 billion.

However, both of those figures pale in comparison to what the social network reportedly believes it's worth. Citing people "familiar with the matter," CNBC reported in June that Facebook was eying going public in the first quarter of 2012 based on a valuation of more than $100 billion. So far, however, Facebook hasn't confirmed that it will, in fact, go public.

Given the state of the stock market, it shouldn't be a surprise that Facebook has balked at filing to go public. The stock market has been extremely volatile as of late due to the weakening economic outlook around the world, making it a potentially bad time for companies to offer their shares. Groupon has reportedly seen the writing on the wall and delayed its IPO plans. Zynga is also reportedly considering delaying its IPO.

Facebook did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.