Facebook's $100bn float begins with a whimper


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The Independent US

Facebook's first public investors sent its value to $105bn in New York yesterday but there was disappointment that the shares failed to go much higher than their opening price of $38.

It is now valued at more than McDonald's and Amazon, but by the end of the day, analysts were relieved the value didn't fall below $100bn – when Google went public, shares rose 18 per cent on day one.

It wasn't the only snag. Yesterday private messages from Mark Zuckerberg when he was 19 were published, confirming he hacked into the website of Harvard University's student newspaper to see what was written about him.

"So I want to read what they said about me before the article came out and after I complained," he wrote to a friend. "So I'm just like trying the email/passwords of everyone."

Mr Zuckerberg's notes on AOL Instant Messenger were published by Business Insider magazine. The messages also confirm that he called the social network's original members "dumb f***s" for sharing their private information with him.

Mr Zuckerberg set up Facebook after being asked by fellow students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to design a social network for them, only to secretly build his own rival version. Asked by a friend what he would do about the conflict of interest with the Winklevoss twins, he said he was "going to f**k them". Facebook refused to confirm the authenticity of the messages.

Candid chat: Archive evidence

Asked about a potential lawsuit against him:

"I won't pay the legal fees... The company that buys us will, ha ha"

Telling a friend why he wanted to dilute co-founder Eduardo Saverin's Facebook influence:

"He was supposed to set up the company, get funding, and make a business model. He failed at all three and he took the offensive against me with no leverage. That just means he's dumb. And now that I'm not going back to Harvard, I don't need to worry about getting beaten by Brazilian thugs."

Rob Hastings