Reports suggest that Facebook is worth a staggering $33.7 billion (almost £22 billion) ahead of its stock market flotation.

The figure is derived from the amount that investors were willing to pay for a share of Mark Zuckerberg's social networking giant.

"Common stock in Facebook is trading as high as $76 a share as investors scramble to get a piece of the company before it files for an initial public offering, which analysts say could be the biggest technology IPO since Google's $1.67bn flotation in 2004", said David Gelles, a reporter for The Financial Times in the Telegraph.

"While Facebook and other successful Silicon Valley companies, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Zynga, are delaying their IPOs because of perceived weak appetite on the public markets, some investors are not content to wait. They are acquiring stakes in technology companies while they are still private, hoping that their eventual IPOs will send share prices even higher".

It's not known when exactly Facebook will float on the stock market, although some analysts predict that it won't be until next year at least.