After eight years, Facebook has officially filed with the SEC announcing its intention to sell shares to the public.

Rumors have been flying around for weeks, predicting that Facebook would file paperwork for its IPO. The social network hopes to raise $5 billion in a bid with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and JP Morgan.

Shares are expected to hit the market in May and will trade under the ticker name “FB.” Following that, Facebook will enter a quiet period, which means that Timeline could be the last new product the company releases until that time period is up.

In its filing, Facebook said it has 845 million active monthly users. The company’s profit has nearly doubled from 2010 with a total of $1 billion made in 2011. Overall, Facebook has made $3.71 billion in revenue.

Additionally, as Mashable pointed out, Facebook’s IPO document revealed some details for advertisers interested in leveraging the platform beyond ads. For example, a business can pay Facebook so that when a customer checks in to a location, that check-in will appear higher up on a friend’s News Feed.

You can read more details about the filing on the SEC’s website.

[Image credit: Coletivo Mambembe]