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Facebook May Offer Premium Company Services, Sandberg Tells CNBC

Facebook Inc. is considering offering premium services for companies that have pages on its site, a potential new revenue stream for the world’s most popular social network, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on CNBC.

Premium options, which would be added to free features that now let businesses and groups create and manage pages for fans on Facebook’s site, may include analytics, support services and other functions, said Brandon McCormick, a spokesman for Facebook, after Sandberg’s interview on CNBC today.

The company is rolling out products “aggressively,” Sandberg said, and a new version of Facebook’s mobile application, unveiled in August for users of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is “boosting engagement” with users. Mobile is a “huge opportunity,” she said.

The company, whose stock has plunged more than 40 percent since its initial public offering in May, has been facing investor questions about its ability to make money from its more than 950 million users. The company, which gets most of its revenue from advertising, in July said sales growth slowed to 32 percent in the second quarter after rising 45 percent in the prior period.

Still, Facebook is “more valuable” than when the company held its IPO, Sandberg said on CNBC.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, rose 1.5 percent to $21.99 at 2:02 p.m. in New York. The company sold shares to the public at $38 apiece on May 17.

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