In the days leading up to the grand Facebook IPO, all eyes and talking heads were on the case. History was about to be made when something that began as a way for college students to connect with each other would suddenly be worth $104 billion. And who knows, maybe it would be worth more. Thanks to the massive amount of buzz you actually had to be living under a rock to not know what was going on. To mark this epic moment there was a “Thank you Facebook song.” The Huffington Post launched Facebook IPO Bingo. The CNBC network held a discussion on the hoodie, of all things. Then it was time. Mark Zuckerberg in his trademark hoodie rang the bell and Facebook’s Initial Public Offering was on the market. All the buzz was thought to have driven up demand and it was highly likely the shares could jump from their initial $38 into the stratosphere. The original investors would be able to cash out and move on to perhaps the next Facebook.
In a jiffy, 200 million Facebook shares changed hands and the price per share jumped from $38 to $42. An upward trend already. But soon enough, the shares were heading back on a downward trend. Underwriters were said to be stepping in to prevent a slide below $38. Words like “fading optimism,” “dud,” and even “flop” were now being used to describe the situation. Along the way, there was said to be a glitch in the mechanics. All of a sudden the story that had dominated the news was quietly going away. News outlets were calling it a “whimper.” So much buzz had generated so much expectation that unless Facebook stock had done phenomenal things it would have been deemed a failure. By the end of the day Facebook had still done record trading with 460 million shares changing hands and closing at $38.23, but that wasn’t enough to live up to the hype.