) --


is reportedly delaying its highly anticipated IPO until the end of next year, according to U.K. newspaper the

Financial Times


The social networking giant's previous expected timetable was mid-2012.

The move comes as a string of other closely watched Internet companies like




have also reportedly

tapped the brakes on their public debuts


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook, however, is pushing back its plans to keep employees focused on products rather than a pay-out, according to the report.

The company, which

reportedly generated revenue of $2 billion last year

, could see its valuation top $100 billion in a public offering.

Its IPO timing could also be impacted by an SEC requirement that says companies must disclose financial information if they have more than 500 investors. Facebook has said it intends to pass the shareholder limit sometime this year.

Despite investor enthusiasm for the social media sector, going public amid the current economic uncertainty is risky, even for these prominent companies, said independent IPO analyst Tom Taulli.

"IPOs are no sure thing post the dot-com era and Sarbanes Oxley," he said. "This environment with high frequency trading and volatile markets makes it difficult even for top notch companies to go public."

Of the 24 tech companies that have listed on U.S. exchanges so far in 2011, the group on average is trading at 11.5% below their offer prices, according to Tableau Software. This compares to a 5% drop among business and financial services companies and a 8% decline for health care companies.

Even buzzy tech companies aren't immune from this trend.




which listed in June at $16

, is trading at around $10 -- a 37.5% drop from its offer price.

Also Chinese social networking site


(RENN) - Get Report


expected to be a prelude to Facebook's IPO

-- is trading at less than $7, significantly below its May offer price of $14.


Written by Olivia Oran in New York


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