By Daniel Hunter
Shares in social networking giant Facebook have fallen heavily as the first lock-up period, which stops sales by early investors, ended.
At the close of trading in New York the shares had fallen by 6.27% to $19.87, down from $20.74 on Wednesday.
Shares had originally gone on the market at $38 each back in May, but it has been a difficult period since then as the price has fallen steadily amid worries over the companies strategy.
With the lock-up period, the space of time where company insiders are prevented from selling their shares in a newly-floated firm, now over, a further 271 million shares become eligible to be sold on Thursday.
In early trade on Thursday the shares were down by more than 6%.