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Facebook wooing advertisers ahead of IPO

Paul Sakuma / AP

Inside the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

By msnbc.com news services

Facebook is wooing advertisers, unveiling new pages and ways for businesses to plug their brands on the social network and paving the way for more corporate users as it prepares for a multibillion-dollar IPO.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg launched the charm offensive Wednesday, touting revamped pages or mini-websites and timelines that marketers can use to promote brands and businesses to Facebook's 845 million members.

The new features let companies, as well as celebrities and brands, create self-contained mini-websites within Facebook using the Timeline format it introduced for users' profile pages earlier this year.

Facebook Pages will be available for smartphones starting later this year, executives said at an event attended by hundreds of advertising and marketing executives.

Facebook recently filed to raise a targeted $5 billion in a hotly anticipated initial public offering that is expected to value the company at $75 billion to $100 billion.

Some investors worry about Facebook's over-reliance on advertising dollars. Businesses can set up pages on Facebook for free, but the idea, executives said, is that companies whose pages attract a lot of customers might be interested in advertising on the service as well.

Reuters contributed to this report.