Facebook IPO details strategy and its vision of itself

Social network eyes expansion into China, hopes to boost mobile experience (see video below)

Facebook's IPO filing lays out a pretty good image of where CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to take the company: He sees the social network as having significant historical value to the economy, governments and -- he hopes -- to every person connected to the Internet around the world.

"There are more than 2 billion global Internet users, according to an industry source, and we aim to connect all of them," the company said in its S-1 filing with the SEC on Wednesday.

And, it seems that Facebook executives - Zuckerberg in particular - not only have some very specific plans on how it will string its influence around the globe. The company's co-founder also has some thoughts on Facebook's importance right now.

"At Facebook, we're inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information," Zuckerberg wrote in a letter included the company's IPO filing. "We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television -- by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society.... Today, our society has reached another tipping point."

Zuckerberg went on to note that his social network aspires to build the services that enable users to communicate and transform core institutions and industries around the world.

"We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services," he added. "We believe building tools to help people share can bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that while Zuckerberg has some lofty visions of Facebook's place in the world, he's making a good sales pitch to potential investors.

"The letter of the CEO in an S-1 filing is where you can puff. And Zuckerberg puffed really big in this one," he added. "And I think that, in his head, this is what he thinks Facebook is going to be. When he sees what happened in Egypt and he realized that it was his creation that helped overturn a government there, he's going to take part ownership of that action because it was his baby."

So how do Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives plan on expanding the social network's reach and clout?

Part of their plan seems to be to figure out how to move into China, which has historically restricted access to global Internet companies. Early in 2010, for instance, Google pulled its business out of that country after announcing that an attack against its network came from China. The attack, Google said, had forced it to rethink its willingness to agree to China's mandates on censoring data for Chinese users.

Keith Shaw and CIO.com's Kristin Burnham discuss some of the numbers revealed by Facebook's $5 billion IPO filing Wednesday, and what this means for the social media giant.

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