Status update: Facebook to go public, raise $5B

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Facebook is updating its status from a private to public company. The shift is occurring as the Internet social network filed its long-awaited plans for an initial public offering of stock.

The documents filed Wednesday say Facebook hopes to raise $5 billion in its IPO. That would be the most for an Internet IPO since Google and its early backers raised $1.9 billion in 2004.

The final amount is likely to change during the next three to four months as Facebook's bankers gauge investor demand.

The IPO marks another major milestone for a Harvard-born startup that began as an online college hangout eight years ago. Since then, it has become a cultural touchstone that has transformed the way everyone from doting grandmas to sassy teenagers share information about their lives.