Facebook began trading on the public markets for the first time today, and at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., excitement levels were high.
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After an all-night hackathon designed to send the message that Facebook cares more about coding and shipping products than it does about the public markets, Facebook held a bell-ringing ceremony early in the morning. Using a specially-hacked remote-control NASDAQ button, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg simultaneously rang the bell on the trading floor of the stock exchange, 3,000 miles away, and updated his (and his company’s) Facebook status.
While chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and other executives looked on, Zuckerberg pressed the button and pumped his fist in the air before a crowd of cheering employees.
News outlets were confined to a small area in the company’s parking lot, although several helicopters circled overhead, getting crowd shots. Investor David Sze of Greylock made a brief appearance, surrounded by the glow of wealth, but otherwise the company and its executives and investors kept a low profile.
VentureBeat’s Sarah Mitroff staked out the scene from early this morning, and brought back a few photographs of the historic event. We’ve also included some screenshots from live video feeds and a couple photos from Facebook’s official press photographer to give you a sense of what it was like inside Facebook HQ today.