Facebook has become the third-largest initial public offering in US history behind General Motors and Visa, raising at least 16 billion dollars.
The firm is valued at 104 billion dollars (82 billion euros).
The stock is scheduled to start trading later on Friday on the Nasdaq in New York, initially priced at 38 dollars a share. It will give Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg a net worth of nearly 20 billion dollars.
Zuckerberg rang the bell to kick off trading on the Nasdaq market remotely from the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters where he was flanked by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld.
Facebook’s prospects will depend on whether companies are willing to blow a hole in their marketing budgets for a chance to reach the social network’s 900 million users. It is as yet unclear whether advertisers will be willing to pay.
Monthly active users woldwide (in millions) – Source: facebook