Facebook Goes Public

Facebook Goes PublicOn Friday, May 18 at 9:29 am Mark Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status. It read, “Mark listed FB on NASDAQ.” On the morning of Facebook’s initial public offering, the CEO symbolically rang the opening bell for the Nasdaq from Menlo Park, California.

“Right now this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here’s the thing: Our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. In the past eight years, all of you out there have built the largest community in the history of the world. You’ve done amazing things that we never would have dreamed of, and I can’t wait to see what you guys all do going forward,” says Zuckerberg.

Although Zuckerberg is downplaying the monumental moment of his company going public, Wall Street was abuzz this morning over what is considered the most highly-anticipated IPO in over a decade. On May 18 online chatter regarding Facebook was 5,000 percent greater than a month ago, according to social media research company NM Incite. In fact, buzz over the Facebook IPO was four times greater than LinkedIn’s IPO and ten times greater than Groupon’s IPO.

Facebook set a new record for a stock debut today with over 576 million shares traded – beating the record previously held by GM when the company went public in 2010. Priced at $38 per share, the market closed steadily at $38.23 today. By increasing the size of its offering, Facebook became the first US company to go public at a valuation of over $100 billion. By the time of the market closing on Friday, Mark Zuckerberg’s estimated net worth is around $20 billion.

“The Facebook initial public offering is highlighting the enormous impact of social media,” says Peter Brooke, CEO of Blue Interactive Agency. “The IPO will continue to raise awareness about social media as an effective method to market businesses.” This moment serves as a seal of approval that social media marketing is here to stay – in fact, it is forever changing the way companies conduct business and connect with their customers.