Published on 22.03.2024

Facebook Stock

View Facebook's share price below and learn more about this stock.

Facebook stock price

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Facebook's IPO

On May 18, 2012, Facebook Inc (FB) was listed on Nasdaq at a price of $38 per share, giving the company a market value of $104 billion. Within four months, the stock price had more than halved due to investor concerns about the impact of the rapid growth in the number of mobile users on advertising revenue. The price dip was short-lived, as Facebook’s share price has grown significantly since mid-2013.

Company strategy and future

With over 3.05 billion users worldwide (as of January 2024), Facebook dominates the field of social media. The company saw an opportunity to leverage its enormous reach for online shopping, thereby challenging Amazon. Companies can create a virtual ‘storefront’ on Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to directly order and pay for products. Facebook is using its own payment system, Facebook Pay, for this purpose.

The founder Mark Zuckerberg also wanted the platform to facilitate ordering and delivery of meals to compete with services like Just Eat and Uber Eats. Additionally, Facebook pays video content creators for their content. Video content is rapidly growing across all platforms, including Reels on Instagram and Facebook Watch. This strategy aimed to further engage users to increase advertising and commission revenue.

In October of 2021, Facebook changed its popular name into Meta, transforming into a holding company, to venture beyond its social media initiatives. The company now owns a wide spectrum of technology applications. In 2022, Meta invested heavily in their new virtual technology: the Metaverse. They wanted to create a digital and virtual platform where users could interact with each other and companies in a virtual world. The initiative has been an expensive gamble and has not yet gained mainstream popularity.

History of Facebook

On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, along with Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin, founded TheFacebook.com, a network for Harvard students. A year earlier, Zuckerberg, a sophomore student at Harvard College, had launched the website Facemash from his dorm room. On this site, users were presented with two photos of Harvard female students and were invited to judge which of the two was more attractive. Zuckerberg had obtained these photos without permission by hacking the Harvard system and extracting them from yearbooks. The Harvard administration did not appreciate this due to the violation of students' privacy and demanded that Zuckerberg take the site offline.

In contrast to Facemash, people on TheFacebook.com could create their own profiles. This proved attractive as just 24 hours after the site's launch, 1,200 students had already signed up, evolving an idea into a real company. In early June 2004, the company relocated to Palo Alto, California. In September 2004, the company introduced the Facebook Wall, a space where people's friends could leave messages. The site quickly gained popularity and by the end of 2004, it had a million users. Following this, the company changed its name to Facebook, marking the beginning of unprecedented growth. By mid-2010, 500 million people were active on the social network. Facebook added popular features to the site, including the ‘like’ button in 2009 and the Messenger chat program in 2011.

By 2012, Facebook had over a billion users. In the same year, the company acquired the popular photo app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stocks. In 2014, Facebook also acquired messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion and virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion. With Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in its possession, Zuckerberg's company currently holds three of the most widely used apps that people frequently engage with on a daily basis.

As Facebook's dominance increases, so does criticism of the company. It frequently faces scrutiny due to privacy breaches, data leaks and its failure to address hate speech and fake news. For example, in 2018, it was revealed that data company Cambridge Analytica had obtained personal information from 87 million Facebook users. The leaked data was used in Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. In 2020, a group of more than 400 companies, including Unilever, Coca-Cola and Ford, temporarily stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram due to racism and hate on the platforms.

Dividends from Facebook

Currently, Facebook does not pay dividends. All profits are retained to invest in the company's further growth.

The information in this article is not written for advisory purposes, nor does it intend to recommend any investments. Please be aware that facts may have changed since the article was originally written. Investing involves risks (e.g., price volatility, currency or liquidity risk). You can lose your invested funds. Consider your knowledge and experience when making investment decisions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly due to economic, political, regulatory, or other developments.

Sources: Facebook, RTL Nieuws, NOS, Forbes, Meta, CNBC, The New York Times.

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