It's official. Facebook Inc. just had the biggest stock-market wipeout in American history.
Shares of Twitter tumbled 18.7 per cent to US$34.93 in midday trade despite a record profit of US$100 million in the second quarter, as financial markets focused on the new realities for social media firms moving to curb abusive behaviour and boost privacy.
Slowing revenue growth initially pulled the stock down almost 9 in after-hours trading on Wednesday before losses picked up on the margin outlook.
Investors also appear to have been alarmed by an alert from Facebook executives that revenue growth would slow as the company refocuses on improving user privacy.
The impact on the rest of the FAANG group of high-flying tech stocks was marginal. Amazon.com Inc fell 2.8 percent ahead of its own results report later on Thursday. Out of 47 analysts covering Facebook, 43 still mark Facebook's stock as "buy", while two say "hold" and two others say "sell".
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Their median target price now sits at $219.30.
The more than $15 billion in net worth that Zuckerberg lost on Thursday is roughly equal to the wealth of the world's 81st-richest person, now Japanese businessman Takemitsu Takizaki, according to Forbes real-time data.
Zuckerberg had been tied with Warren Buffett as the world's fourth-richest person, but the Berkshire Hathaway chairman's current $US83 billion ($A112 billion) fortune tops Zuckerberg's $US66 billion ($A89 billion), Forbes magazine said. He said the 19 percent plunge in Facebook shares the next day stemmed from federal securities law violations by the defendants.
"We own it for its leadership in the tech industry", he said.