Feeling overwhelmed with all the Facebook chatter? Is all this talk of the IPO making you yearn for the weekend already? Well, we are going to make life a little easier for you and find the best stuff for you to read from all around the social web. Keep checking back often – and remember, the newest links are at the top. And if you find something we missed, post it in the comments. We’re also tracking the trading of Facebook in a separate post.
13.05: Facebook closed the day flat at $38 a share. Smartly priced? And with it, we bring our live blog to a close. Thanks for staying and reading.
12.55: In case you were wondering: How did Mark Zuckerberg retain 26% of equity after so many rounds of financing?
12.51: Milo Yiannopoulos on the new Murdoch aka Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook is on course to be the new News Corp: a global corporation that subverts and corrupts democratic process in furtherance of its own ideological and financial objectives. The difference is that while Rupert Murdoch’s empire has been circumscribed by the limits of production and broadcast, Zuckerberg’s is already in your home, on your laptop, at your workstation and even in your back pocket. Facebook has achieved in a few short years what it took Murdoch decades to accomplish – but the implications of Zuckerberg’s power are far more disturbing.
12:21: Rob Hof at Forbes says that the lack of a first-day “pop” in Facebook’s share price may be a sign that bankers picked the right price, but it’s a PR failure:
IPOs aren’t just about raising money. They are a publicity event intended to cement a company’s arrival as a solid corporate citizen and, at least when it comes to technology companies, a growth stock. A first-day pop, even a relatively small one, often provides a signal that a company is indeed a hot commodity.
12:06: Data analysis company DataSift looked at more than 75,000 interactions on Twitter and the sentiment expressed about Facebook’s IPO and then correlated those with the actual trading:
11:57: A sign of the times, literally: a real-estate agent willing to accept stock in return for a building lot (via Jonathan Heileger of North Bridge Venture Partners):
11:42: One teenager — the daughter of Loop Insight editor-in-chief Jim Dalrymple — gives her perspective on the Facebook IPO:
My 19-year-old daughter @beardsdaughter: "Why are people investing in Facebook, it's already on the way out."—
Jim Dalrymple (@jdalrymple) May 18, 2012
11:39: The Washington Post may not have invested in Facebook when it had the chance, but chairman Don Graham’s net worth has increased by about $40 million as a result of shares he was awarded when he joined the Facebook board.
11:28: David Hornik, a venture capital partner with August Capital, says that several visionary investors — including Yuri Milner — deserve some credit for seeing the value of Facebook early:
It is impossible to ignore the economic impact of the Facebook IPO. It will make many people very rich. And it secures what has been known for a long time — Facebook is the best Venture Capital investment in the history of the industry.
11:26: A Facebook update from chief technology officer Bret Taylor:
11:16: Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic has some thoughts and questions about what happens to Facebook post-IPO, including whether investors will start to care about the CEO’s iron grip over the votes and the board:
Not all corporate structures are alike and as Matt Yglesias explained a while back, Facebook’s power is concentrated in one person: Mark Zuckerberg. Is this going to become an issue for investors or are they all too happy having Zuck running the show?
11:08: You think he’s young now? Here’s a photo that Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes (now owner of The New Republic) posted to his Facebook wall of himself with Mark Zuckerberg and fellow co-founder Dustin Moskovitz:
11:03: According to the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, in the first 10 minutes of being public, Facebook had already traded 25 percent of the highest volume of any initial offering in history.
10:56: Just to show that some people live outside the Facebook IPO bubble, Betabeat talked with some normal human beings in Times Square outside the Nasdaq trading screen:
We passed by two blonde twenty-somethings, tourists from Germany, who were wondering what exactly was going on. “It’s a business story,” clarified our news editor. “Oh, okay,” they said, nodding, still looking quite confused.
10:51: You knew it was coming, sooner or later — a video animation from Taiwan’s NMA about Facebook’s historic moment:
10:45: How much does India love Facebook’s IPO? Judging from this photo, a whole bunch (via Prasanto Roy)
It has a unique relationship with the users who entrust the Facebook to manage enormous amounts of personal data, knowing that mistakes can have profound social consequences. That unique relationship puts Facebook under more scrutiny by it’s users than, say, a company like Walmart receives from its customers. So, threats to it’s mystique of being something more than just-another-company are particularly problematic. As a public entity, Facebook with be subject to pressure by shareholders to make changes for the sake of producing revenue that are contrary to the interests of users.
At a time when Facebook promises to transform hundreds of investors and employers into paper millionaires, the site’s 900 million users are wondering: What about me? The site, which rocketed to fame and fortune by selling advertising based on the personal data of its users, will leave almost all of them empty-handed. As a result, we have people gloating over the site’s disenchanted advertisers.
At some level, we’re all disenchanted that the world’s most successful Internet company is actually just a massive advertising play. Facebook sells ads based on our web behaviors and personal profiles.
If nothing else, this schadenfreude will only deepen as we find out how other Web companies are getting rich by trafficking in our personal data. As we transition to a new mobile, post-PC era, this trend towards personal data consumption by the Internet’s most successful companies will, most likely, only deepen.
10.20: Why do we care about the Facebook IPO? Rohit Bhargava explains
Only a fraction of us watching the coverage today will actually be in the market to try and purchase some shares, yet we will watch. Is it merely the historic size of the IPO? No, I think the real reason is something more fundamental.
We all have a personal connection to Facebook. We all use it, and not just as a “user” of Coke drinks a can once in a while. We rely on it to manage many of our personal relationships and share our memories. Facebook is more than a social network, it is a utility – like water.
10.03: Look who is driving toy cars. Hint – not Mark!
09.57: Jim Cramer writing for TheStreet:
We want things to be compliant with Facebook(FB). That means we need to see oil stabilize. We need to see Europe stabilize, which it can, given that every short is worried about something good happening this weekend. We need to see gold rise, which is what happens each time the Germans give in to some growth initiative that could be considered inflationary. We also need to see earnings be smooth.
So we have a decent backdrop, for certain. But we also need to see the frenzy die down — and that, well, that’s not going to happen. So if we balance the über-exuberance of Facebook with the über-depression of an oversold stock market, maybe — just maybe — we’ll get a decent day. Of course, that sure hasn’t been the case on many Europe-dominated Fridays.
09.51: David Sze of Greylock Partners was at Facebook HQ and spoke to Forbes.
“People were milling around in the middle of the square in anticipation,” Sze said. “(COO) Sheryl (Sandberg) spoke a little bit. The (person from) Nasdaq spoke a little bit. Mark spoke. Then they opened the bell. Everyone cheered and celebrated for about 10 minutes. Then everyone went back to their offices and started working again. It’s a great milestone for the company. Wonderful congratulations to all of them. But one of the great things about Facebook is you don’t get to where they’ve gotten and get where they’re going to go without being really focused.”
09.48: Chris Cox, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s confidantes is having a great day. Photo by investor David Sze.
09.26: Facebook users are double dippers, says comScore.
40+% of Facebook users use another Social Network or sharing service (up from 20% last year.) Twitter (23.8% of FB users), LinkedIn (20.3%), Google+ (16.6%), Tumblr (13.9%), Pinterest (12.1%)
08.59: Facebook IPO is all that everybody seems to be talking about on Twitter.
DataSift recorded 190003 interactions generated by 85689 unique authors, over a period of 5 days.
8:55: A thought from Venrock venture partner David Pakman:
What an incredible accomplishment - the creation of a $100B company. A celebration of genius entrepreneurship. Congrats to everyone at $FB.—
David Pakman (@pakman) May 18, 2012
8:53: As risky as it might be to sell such a high-volume stock short (i.e., bet on it going down), some hedge funds say they are preparing to do exactly that:
“This is about as bubbly as you can get,” he said. “My mother asked me if she could get Facebook shares and she has never been interested in IPOs before. A cab driver asked me about the IPO too. That’s when you want to short it.”
8:45: Apparently Facebook’s IPO isn’t doing any favors for one of its biggest partners, game developer Zynga — Reuters says the stock has been halted after dropping 13 percent:
Matthew Keys (@ProducerMatthew) May 18, 2012
8:40: A thought from early Facebook staffer and Benchmark Capital partner Matt Cohler:
So very, very proud of my friends and colleagues at Facebook. Today is just another step in the journey, but an important and exciting one!—
Matt Cohler (@mattcohler) May 18, 2012
8:35: According to Reuters, Facebook traded a mind-boggling 82 million shares in the first 30 seconds on Nasdaq:
Facebook, Inc. trades 82 million shares in first 30 seconds. Facebook IPO live blog - bit.ly/JXw9RQ $FB—
Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 18, 2012
We’re also tracking the trading of Facebook in a separate post.
8:32: Finally, Facebook starts trading — up a respectable 13 percent in the opening to $42, and cheers at CNBC according to Eric Jackson:
8:29: While the Nasdaq tries to cope with a tsunami of demand for Facebook shares, there’s plenty of time for more witticisms, like this one from humorist Steve Murray:
What are the chances that facebook will open and then immediately suspend or crash like it does on my iphone?—
Steve Murray (@NPsteve) May 18, 2012
8:22: Nasdaq officials have said they were forced to delay Facebook’s opening further for technical reasons, and Barron’s columnist Steve Sears says someone must have underestimated the demand:
The FB delay simply reflects the cold fact of bandwidth limitations for electronic trading. Someone at NDAQ mis-calcuated FB demand.—
Steve Sears (@sm_sears) May 18, 2012
8:18: So where is Facebook? Nasdaq says it is experiencing a delay, likely due to enormous demand according to Bloomberg:
Nasdaq says it’s ‘experiencing delay’ in opening Facebook. Likely due to enormous retail demand. Live coverage: bloomberg.com/tv—
Mathew Yurow (@myurow) May 18, 2012
8:15: A thought from Marketplace Wall Street reporter Heidi Moore:
CNBC: "I just want to make sure we don't whip ourselves into a frenzy on the short term value." That horse has left the barn.—
Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) May 18, 2012
8:13: Some frustration on the part of financial commentators like the CBC’s Amanda Lang as Facebook is still delayed:
This is what happens when child dictators head public companies: start trading FB already!!—
Amanda Lang (@AmandaLang_CBC) May 18, 2012
8:11: While we wait for the stock to actually start trading, a thought from Yieldbot founder Jonathan Mendez:
Nice day to recall that on 12/23/99 Yahoo passed the $100B valuation mark. $YHOO—
Jonathan Mendez (@jonathanmendez) May 18, 2012
8:05: Why didn’t Facebook stock begin trading when the Nasdaq exchange first opened at 9 am Eastern? Because that’s just how the Nasdaq works, that’s why:
“It’s not a delay or a problem, just a matter of style,” said a source familiar with Nasdaq’s process. “We want to have an IPO stand alone at its own special time.”
8:04: AOL founder Steve Case thinks back to the day when his company went public at a much smaller valuation:
Celebrating Facebook IPO today while reflecting on AOL IPO 20 years ago. Valuation was $70 million. Most thought Internet was a fad. #wrong—
Steve Case (@SteveCase) May 18, 2012
8:01: Reuters says Facebook trading has been delayed until 11:05 Eastern, so day-traders can stand down for another few minutes.
7:57: A wry observation from Twitter chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey:
Wow. Slow news day.—
Jack Dorsey (@jack) May 18, 2012
7:54: With Facebook stock set to begin official trading within minutes, here’s an official photo of the Nasdaq bell-ringing ceremony provided by Facebook:
7:51: In the list of those who have become extremely wealthy as a result of the Facebook IPO you will find the name of one Paul Hewson — otherwise known as U2 front-man Bono, who New Music Express says will officially become the richest musician in the world, eclipsing Paul McCartney:
The U2 singer owns 2.3 per cent of the shares in Facebook through his private equity firm, Elevation Partners, which they bought for $90 million (£57 million) in 2009
Also, CNBC notes that much of musician Kenny G.’s net worth comes from a seed investment he made in Starbucks (via Staci Kramer).
7:42: True to Facebook’s hacker culture, a programmer at the giant social network hacked the Nasdaq opening bell button (with the exchange’s permission) to automatically post a status update to Mark Zuckerberg’s page — using the engineer’s headphones:
7:36: A photo posted on Facebook by mobile product manager Erick Tseng, with the caption: “It’s official! Exciting day! Now some sleep, then back to work!”
7:31: Wade Roush at Xconomy asks the new Facebook millionaires and billionaires to spend some of their time and resources after the IPO on some really world-changing problems instead of just new Ferraris:
I’m not saying that ex-Facebookers should abandon their training in business or computer science and become climatologists, roboticists, entomologists, or oceanographers. But they can certainly take the lessons they’ve learned about building scalable systems and harnessing natural human behaviors and apply them to problems outside social networking.
7:28: According to CNBC, retail interest in the Facebook IPO — that is, interest expressed by non-professional traders — is the highest ever for an initial offering:
RT @CNBC: BREAKING: CNBC's Kelly: Retail demand for $FB highest ever for IPO; people close to deal expected retail component of 15%-25%. ...—
Eric Jackson (@ericjackson) May 18, 2012
7:24: Meanwhile, New York Times writer Nick Bilton asks us to spare a thought for two of the people who probably feel the most left out of the Facebook hype:
In an alternate universe, the Winklevii twinsies are ringing a NASDAQ bell right now.—
Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) May 18, 2012
7:22: Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, warns anyone thinking of buying Silicon Valley real estate about the spinoff effects of the world’s largest technology IPO:
Reminder: today marks the last day you can buy a house in the Valley without having to rob a bank or start Instagram.—
Aaron Levie (@levie) May 17, 2012
7:17: The Boston Globe points out that, in contrast to how both Google and Netscape were treated by the universities where they were created, Harvard made the smart move by not asserting any rights over Facebook despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg developed it while he was a student there:
Harvard’s minor role in Facebook’s history has attracted a different reaction: a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster, a reinvigorated reputation as a dream school for entrepreneurial teens, and warm feelings among millionaire alumni who may become large donors. By contrast, few know that modern web browsing was born at the University of Illinois, and Netscape’s embittered founders vowed never to give another dime to their alma mater-turned-adversary.
Hat tip to Techdirt for spotting that one.
7:14: A great photo from New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, posted on Instagram just after the ringing of the trading bell:
7:11: Comedian Andy Borowitz has been firing off one-liners about the Facebook IPO since Thursday, including this gem:
As for Facebook, people seem to be saying that $100B is a small price to pay to avoid interacting with actual people.—
Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport) May 17, 2012
7:09: Although Mark Zuckerberg has already run the ceremonial opening bell at the Nasdaq exchange, actual trading of the stock won’t begin until 11:00 a.m. Eastern — so you can stop holding your finger over the “buy” button on your Bloomberg terminal now.
7:01: Apparently not everyone is aware of what a momentous day this is, according to this tweet from Eric Jackson:
Barista at Starbucks next to Nasdaq just asked me "what the heck is going on today?!"—
Eric Jackson (@ericjackson) May 18, 2012
6:57: There have been lots of great Twitter responses to the Facebook IPO, but one of the best was from blogger Ed Hunsinger, or @edrabbit:
Why is Facebook going public? They couldn't figure out the privacy settings either.—
Ed Hunsinger (@edrabbit) May 17, 2012
6:52: Those newly-minted Facebook millionaires had better restrain themselves, according to a New York Times story on the nouveau tech rich:
“The message here is, ‘Keep shipping product,’ ” said a Facebook executive who requested anonymity while discussing internal matters. “If someone buys a fancy car and posts a picture of it, they get ridiculed and berated.”
6:51: Remember when everyone was saying they were quitting Facebook? MG Siegler does:
I swore I read that everyone was quitting Facebook in 2008. Then 2009. Then 2010. Then 2011. What happened?—
MG Siegler (@parislemon) May 18, 2012
6:46: A historic moment is recorded — where else — as a Facebook status update:
6:43: Looks like someone in the TV caption-writing game needs a spelling lesson:
6:40: Ryan Holiday at Forbes says there’s one reason why the media loves writing about companies in their pre-IPO period — because they can say whatever they want and the company can’t comment:
It’s not just about capturing a popular SEO-term. The real reason is much more insidious. It all comes down to exploiting a single fact: the reporter has complete freedom to write the “facts” however they want while the company is gagged by the SEC’s quiet period regulations.
6:38: Here’s a shot of Mark Zuckerberg ringing the opening bell:
6:35: It seems as though everyone is excited about the potential of buying Facebook stock, based on this tweet:
BUY BUY BUY!—
Jesus Christ (@jesus) May 18, 2012
06:23: Watch Zuck ring the bell live here in a few minutes.
06.10: The Atlantic says Facebook is a weapon of mass distraction.
“Facebook’s greatest asset is its immense capacity to distract us. The best social media companies manage to get 10% of their users to come back each day, according Foursquare/Tumblr/Twitter/Zynga investor Fred Wilson. Ten percent isn’t cool, Facebook contends. You know what’s cool? Fifty percent.”
06.01: Eduardo Saverin, the “Brazilian” on the eve of the IPO on his Facebook page:
On the eve of the Facebook public float, 8 plus year in the making, I as co-founder wanted to look back and cherish Facebook’s early beginning. Congrats to everyone involved in the project from day one till today, and I especially wanted to congratulate Mark Zukerberg [sic] on keeping tremendous stead-fast focus, however hard that was, on making the world a more open and connected place.
“We heard from people close to Mr. Zuckerberg that part of his leadership skills can be attributed to his penchant for playing games that involve conquering virtual worlds. A favorite video game of his as a boy was ‘Civilization’, the object of which is to ‘build an empire to stand the test of time,’ a friend of Mr. Zuckerberg’s told The New York Times. The person added that ‘Civilization’ was the ‘training wheels for starting Facebook.’”
I clearly should stop wasting my time on Tetris -Om
00.01: Want to predict the closing price of Facebook IPO on first day of trading? Play this game –facebookipodatclosingprice.com! I am betting it ends up in the $60-$75 range. – Om
One of the cool things about that closing-price prediction site is that creator James Proud set it up after angel investor Chris Sacca asked for just such a thing in this tweet. – Mathew
“India is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest Facebook market by number of users as early as 2015, according to social media analysts, driven by growing internet penetration and high rates of growth in mobile connections. As Facebook’s third largest market, India is home to over 45 million users, behind Brazil and the United States with 47 and 157 million users, respectively, according to the latest data from Facebook’s advertising platform.”
This is not necessarily a good thing. It is hard to monetize the overseas traffic and many Internet companies have learned this the hard way. – Om