Facebook at Face Value: How High Will the Bids Go?

"The YouTube deal is definitely going to push a higher value, above a billion," said Kagan, who suggests that Microsoft is a natural fit for the company.

In August, Zuckerberg signed a deal with Microsoft, which promises to deliver $200 million of ads over the next three years. And the company is approaching $100 million in annual revenues.

In general, it's difficult to determine the value of social networking sites beyond the advertising dollars they attract.

"It's hard to put a number on that type of company," said Richard Peterson, an expert in mergers and acquisitions at Thomson Financial. "The risk is overpaying. It may take longer than sooner to add to the bottom line."

Despite Zuckerberg's independence streak and stubborn attitude, the company may need a buyer more than a buyer needs it.

"He doesn't want to sell out his company," Martin said. "But I don't think that it's the right decision for Facebook to stay independent because they won't survive in this winner-take-all market."

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