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The Twitter IPO Experience From The NYSE Floor

Jack Dorsey, Dick Costolo, Biz Stone, bored reporters, excited traders, a little girl dressed as a Twitter bird, and Patrick Stewart. And all before 10 a.m.

Posted on November 7, 2013, at 5:21 p.m. ET

Around 8 a.m. today, inside the New York Stock Exchange building at the intersection of Broad Street and Wall Street, a whole bunch of white dudes in suits formed a circle.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed
Handout / Reuters

What made this morning different was that the traders were joined by Twitter executives, who were there for the ceremonial ringing of the opening bell to mark the company's first day of trading.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

About 40 reporters were corralled in a pen and allowed to partake in the festivities, which primarily consisted of standing and waiting.

Reporters were asked to arrive by 7:45 a.m., though the opening bell doesn't ring until 9:30 a.m., and Twitter shares didn't actually start trading until 10:49 a.m.
Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Reporters were asked to arrive by 7:45 a.m., though the opening bell doesn't ring until 9:30 a.m., and Twitter shares didn't actually start trading until 10:49 a.m.

The excitement was palpable...

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

...just look at the energy and enthusiasm of these guys!

Via Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

They make the normally easily excitable Jim Cramer of CNBC seem calm.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Just before the bell, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey arrived, leading traders to break out the old "Hulk Hands" for some Twitpics.

@jack great to see you again, congrats on #TwitterIPO next up @Square #IPO 2014 @twitter @nysehulkfist

Mike P.

@Mike1012

@jack great to see you again, congrats on #TwitterIPO next up @Square #IPO 2014 @twitter @nysehulkfist

/ Via

Then, as if beamed in from the Starship Enterprise, Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard) inexplicably appeared, instantly vaporizing bystanders' dejection.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Even Twitter's founders and chief executive seemed to be wondering what Patrick Stewart was doing there.

Just look at the expression on the face of Ev and Biz.
NYSE

Just look at the expression on the face of Ev and Biz.

As the bell rang, clapping ensued...

NYSE

...as did interviews, lots and lots of interviews...

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke to CNBC's Carl Quintanilla.
Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke to CNBC's Carl Quintanilla.

...CNBC even interviewed Patrick Stewart, who was allowed to wear jeans even though they are generally prohibited on the NYSE floor.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed
Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed
Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Many of the younger reporters in the pen were either unaware of Stewart's celebrity altogether, or knew him only from his role as Professor X in the X-Men franchise. One millennial cameraman wondered if he was standing mere feet from Spock.

Meanwhile, everyone on the floor watched these screens waiting for traders to decide on an opening price and for Twitter's shares to actually begin trading.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Well, maybe not everyone — some of us were just trying to get a perfect @SirPatStew selfie to kill the pain of more waiting around.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

The boredom forced unfortunate selfie taking.

#TwitterIPO selfie (had to) killing time for opening

Mariah Summers

@mariahjsummers

#TwitterIPO selfie (had to) killing time for opening

/ Via

Still, as famous as Patrick Stewart is, we were more interested in meeting 9-year-old Vivienne Harr, who rang the opening bell. She said she had dressed in the spirit of the Twitter bird.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

The brave lemonade entrepreneur and human rights activist dared to cross over into the pen and pose with adoring reporters.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

It seemed everyone was having fun with bird puns this morning.

On this #TwitterIPO day, our producer, @joshascher, cues the @foofighters' "Learning to Fly". @CNBC $TWTR

Carl Quintanilla

@carlquintanilla

On this #TwitterIPO day, our producer, @joshascher, cues the @foofighters' "Learning to Fly". @CNBC $TWTR

/ Via

Finally, a trader shouted, "The book has frozen," which meant the floor had agreed on a price and trading would begin imminently.

Mob hanging around Barclays booth to hear shouts on pricing for #twitteripo

Kaja Whitehouse

@kajawhitehouse

Mob hanging around Barclays booth to hear shouts on pricing for #twitteripo

/ Via

And about an hour and 10 minutes after the opening bell, Twitter opened at $45.10, clapping and cheering enveloped the floor.

And we're off! $TWTR opens at $45.10! Congrats to the #twitter team #TwitterIPO #nyse

Vincent Perrone

@perronenyx

And we're off! $TWTR opens at $45.10! Congrats to the #twitter team #TwitterIPO #nyse

/ Via

NYSE staff gave themselves a thumbs-up for the glitch-free IPO.

Unlike Facebook's first day of trading, which was marred by technical glitches at the Nasdaq, the NYSE pulled off a seamless debut for Twitter.
Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

Unlike Facebook's first day of trading, which was marred by technical glitches at the Nasdaq, the NYSE pulled off a seamless debut for Twitter.

Within minutes after the opening of trading, the pen was empty. It was over. Even Patrick Stewart had vanished without a trace.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

As we exited the exchange, a drizzle had descended over Wall Street. It was clear that on this day, Twitter had made it rain.

Mariah Summers / BuzzFeed

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