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Zuckerberg downplays drop in Facebook stock prices

Lauren Clark / Asst. multimedia editor

As the price of Facebook stock drops, some are beginning to question the popularity of the social media site.
But Mark Zuckerberg stands behind his creation.
“I would rather be in a cycle where people underestimate us, because I’d rather be underestimated,” said Zuckerberg, the founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook. “I think it gives us the latitude to go out and make some bets.”
When Facebook went public May 18 and went into the stock market for investors to freely buy and sell shares, each share was valued at $38. According to Daily Finance, it was down to $21.87 a share Tuesday evening, which was about an 8 percent raise from the 50 percent it has dropped since May.
The all-time high share price was $38.23, and the low was $17.67.
The stock rose last week after a Sept. 11 interview between Zuckerberg and TechCrunch. It was the first time he has publicly spoken since Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO) in May.
Zuckerberg said he knows some people might see the drop in stock prices since the company went public as their time to duck out.
“But I actually think it’s a great time for people to join, and it’s a great time for people to stay and double down, and I think we’re seeing that,” he said.
With 955 million monthly active users at the end of June and 552 million of those being daily users, Facebook is still growing, according to the Facebook newsroom website. But so are other social media sites.
According to a Time Techland article, the number of people who actively use Twitter is unknown to the public, and Twitter employees have not released that information. However, according to a Business Insider article, there are more than 56 million active accounts on Twitter, with active defined as a user who follows more than eight other accounts.
“I think with new social media coming out, yeah, (Facebook) might be going out of style,” said Bryce St. Clair, a second-year in linguistics and Spanish. “People are trying to find new ways to escape … their parents and their friends looking at some of their stuff, so they’re trying to find new outlets like Tumblr or Twitter, whatever, to escape that.”
Twitter and Tumblr are both privately owned companies.
Others say they do not think this turnover is anything new.
“I think there were many fads in the past that were just temporary fads, people grow tired of things. Like instant messaging,” said Itzhak Ben-David, an OSU assistant professor of finance. “People do it but it’s not as exciting as it was.”
Roselyn Lee, assistant professor of communication, said Facebook still ranks No. 1 globally in web traffic.
“It is important to note the very fact that their user population is nearing 1 billion,” Lee said. “As long as Facebook can keep pleasing their users by addressing their desire to be connected with others and fulfill their need for information and entertainment, Facebook is very likely to enjoy its popularity for years to come.”
Facebook purchased Instagram, a mobile photo sharing app, in April, right before its IPO for $1 billion.
“We’ve been in this quiet period for the last six months or so, since right up to the time when we were getting started with the IPO, and a lot of stuff has changed since then,” Zuckerberg said. “A lot of people underestimate how fundamentally good (Facebook) mobile is for us.
According to whoownsfacebook.com, Zuckerberg holds 28.2 percent of Facebook’s shares, making him the majority share holder.
Some people with financial experience agree that the stock being down is not a big deal.
“Facebook is an extreme example,” Ben-David said. “Fifty percent in three months is a lot, but it’s well known that IPO’s underperform in the first year. I think the average is 10 percent down. The price was just too high to begin with and the market needs to understand it was just too high.”

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