ADOTAS – It’s been a day of superlatives, as the world’s largest social network went public in what was expected to be (and ultimately was) the biggest IPO for any tech company and the third-largest for any company in the U.S., period. Facebook‘s long-awaited stock went public later than expected (11:30 a.m. today instead of 11 a.m., on account of a Nasdaq technical delay that reportedly resulted from the overwhelming demand for the stock), and it opened at a higher than expected ($42.05 per share, instead of the expected $38 per share, after investors raised $16 billion for the network yesterday). Just 30 seconds after opening, 82 million stocks had been traded. By mid-afternoon, it had moved more stocks in its first day than GM, the exact company that very publicly (and perhaps rather ceremonially) announced earlier this week it had lost faith in Facebook’s ability to increase sales for the automaker and would pull its $10 million advertising budget from the network.
Financial publications have noted the stock didn’t stay up — in spite of the initial rush of the first several minutes, in which it peaked at $45 per share, the stock’s price dipped to $38 and change after about 20 minutes and closed at $38.23. Some reports place Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal take from the IPO at $19 billion or so.
So, the moment you’ve been waiting for. A lot of Facebook employees will surely be ordering from the top shelf tonight. Aside from their own sudden liquidity, the real changes, if there are any, are yet to come. Social media ROI has, up to this point, been a fairly subjective matter for brands and marketers, and there’s no standard metric for it. The network’s now accountable to its investors to make money for them. However many questions still exist, there’s a good chance people will be scrambling for answers now.