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Facebook going public (live blog)

Check out CNET's blow-by-blow coverage of the IPO, starting Friday morning, complete with regular updates, analysis, and commentary.

Mark Zuckerberg is going to be a really wealthy man tomorrow. James Martin/CNET

Finally, Facebook goes public.

You can follow our live coverage right here, so check back at 5:30 a.m. PT/ 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday when we kick off the live blog with some pre-trading chatter.

On Thursday afternoon, Facebook set the price of the IPO at $38 a share, giving the massive social network a market value of $104 billion out of the gate, more than the stock market value of Amazon and about half that of Google's. And at that price, Facebook has raised $16 billion by selling 421.2 million shares.

The Wall Street and technology crowds have both looked to Facebook as a beacon (no pun intended) of hope for their respective industries. Facebook is already the largest Internet IPO and one of the largest IPOs ever in history.

Hotly anticipated and previously limited to big-time and institutional investors, Facebook shares will be available to the public for the first time when they begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday morning.

CNET will take you through the IPO, adding commentary and analysis on what this means for the company and for its massive base of users, and whether you should take part in the frenzy (probably not).

LIVE BLOG: Facebook goes public

Editors' note: This story was originally published May 17 at 10:00 a.m. PT.