Social media giant Facebook began trading today, and its introduction to the public markets was not quite as welcoming as some expected. In early trading, shares bumped around its initial offering price of $38, after opening as a high as $45. At press time, shares were up 8.3% to $41.16.
The Facebook IPO was facing headwinds this week, entering a market in which the The Dow Jones Industrial average finished in the red eleven of the past twelve days. And the Palo Alto company’s problems were compounded when, earlier in the week, General Motors announced it would pull it entire $10-million advertising campaign from Facebook after its marketing team began to have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the ads.
While the negative press generated from GM’s decision didn’t help, the actual numbers were a drop in the bucket. Facebook’s generated $3.7 billion in revenue last year, the bulk of which was advertising sales.
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Meanwhile, Facebook’s numbers in Canada are clearly a model for what the company would like to achieve worldwide. Earlier this year, for the first time ever, more than half of all Canadians were users of the site.
According to social media and digital analytics company Socialbakers.com, which launched in 2008 and claims to be the most widely visited site for Facebook statistics, Facebook now has more than 18-million users in Canada, a staggering 53.39% penetration rate. 68.73% of all Canadian internet users are on Facebook. The Canadian population is now 34.8-million.
Facebook’s demographics in Canada are enviable from an advertising perspective. Although biggest gain in the past three months was recorded by the 55-54 year age group, the largest demographic on Facebook, by far, is much younger, with 25% of the total users in Canada being between ages 25-34 and another 24% between 18-24.
Now that Facebook is a public company, continued growth in the Western World will be important. The number of Facebook users in India doubled last year, but the average revenue Facebook generates per user there, and all over Asia, is quite low.
Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific director of [email protected], a unit of Ogilvy & Mather, recently told The Christian Science Monitor that Facebook’s average revenue per person in Asia is just $1.79, compared to $9.51 in North America. “The future for Facebook is finding a way to monetize all these people in terms of their revenue base.” says Crampton.
On April 24th, Facebook topped 900-million active users, worldwide.