Facebook’s shares sunk to a record low on Thursday; they were down close to half of the $38 price investors paid when the stock first went on sale three months ago.
It has been on a losing streak since then.
The big slide came on the first day when early investors in the social network website could cash out with the ending of a so-called lock-up designed to prevent insiders from selling shares too soon.
The pressure is on because of stock market concerns over the company’s revenue growth which is slowing.
There are also questions over whether it can make money from people who use smartphones to view the site and who therefore do not see its advertising.
But not everyone is downbeat about its future. Professor James Post of Boston University’s School of Management said: “They have an outreach on any given day to a one billion potential customers in the world. Even if they reach a small percentage of that, that is still a tens of millions of people who are willing to pay something to connect and rely on Facebook.”
Facebook – which was much ballyhooed before its launch – seems to be following the same pattern as other recent internet companies such as Groupon, which offers daily discounts on retailers’ services to online subscribers, and the social network game maker Zynga.
Both have seen their share values dive