Shares of social network giant Facebook were officially floated on the NASDAQ on 18 May with an estimated value of $100 billion. The company’s IPO is priced at $38 per share, turning it into the largest tech IPO in history. The social networking website has a 900-million strong user base – a significant portion of whom reside in Africa.
Bloomberg.com reported that the IPO makes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wealthier than Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. According to the report, Facebook sold 421.2 million shares for $38 each, which values the 503.6 million shares and options Zuckerberg owns at $19.1 billion.
Research shows that the continent has played a key role in providing access to Facebook and driving traffic to the site.
According to www.internetworldstats.com the number of Facebook users in Africa in March 2011 was 27,414,240 and a year later, the figure stood at 40,205,580. This represents penetration rates of 2,6% and 3,9% respectively.
A careful inspection of Facebook usage across Africa reveals a few interesting aspects of online user behaviour.
Based on research into user figures, IT News Africa lists the continents major Facebook contributors:
- Egypt 10,669, 020
- South Africa 4,583,480
- Morocco 4, 297,920
- Nigeria 4,133,900
- Algeria 3,386,800
- Tunisia 2,974,940
- Kenya 1,317, 450
- Ghana 1, 192,480
- DRC 845,200
- Senegal 667,820
Chris Tredger, ITNewsAfrica