But for many seeking a big first-day pop in Facebook's share price, that increase was something of a letdown.
"With all the drumbeats and hype, I don't think there'll be barroom bragging tonight," said John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPO Scoop, a research firm.
Said Nick Einhorn, an analyst with IPO advisory firm Renaissance Capital: "It wasn't quite as exciting as it could have been. But I don't think we should view it as a failure."
The small jump in price could be seen as an indication that Facebook and the investment banks that arranged the IPO priced the stock in an appropriate range.
And it was good for ordinary investors, who are often shut out of IPOs or buy the stock at a high price on Day 1.
Facebook offered 15 percent of its available stock in the IPO, so there was enough to meet demand. Google offered just 7.2 percent of its stock when it went public in 2004 - and rose 18 percent on Day 1.
By the end of the day Friday, about 570 million shares had changed hands, a huge trading volume for any company.
Steve Quirk, who oversees trading strategy at TD Ameritrade, said about 60,000 orders were lined up before Facebook opened.
Other social-media companies, most of which have gone public in the last year, saw their shares plummet when it became clear what kind of reception Facebook was getting in the public market. Shares of game-maker Zynga Inc. and reviews site Yelp Inc. hit all-time lows.
Facebook is one of those rare companies whose IPO transcends Wall Street's money lust. Facebook has come to define social networking by getting its 900 million users around the world to share everything from pet photos to their deepest thoughts.
Most tech companies going public want a big rise in their debut to show they're "strong, dynamic companies standing out in the crowd," said Francis Gaskins, president of researcher IPOdesktop, but Facebook already has that image, so it may not care.
What's more, he said, most of the money raised in the IPO - $9 billion of $16 billion - went to early investors who want the highest possible IPO price, and so they're likely happy with the modest first-day rise.
Facebook is one of the few profitable Internet companies to go public recently. The company makes most of its money from advertising. It also takes a cut from the money people spend on virtual items in Facebook games such as FarmVille.
Facebook's public debut marked a new milestone in the history of the Internet. In 1995, Netscape Communications' IPO gave people their first chance to invest in a company whose graphical Web browser made the Internet more engaging and easier to navigate. Its hotly anticipated IPO lit the fuse that ignited the dot-com boom. That explosion of entrepreneurial activity and investment culminated five years later in a bust that obliterated the notion that the Internet had hatched a "new economy."
It took Google Inc.'s IPO in 2004 to prove that an Internet company with a disruptive idea could be profitable.
Facebook's IPO almost certainly will enrich other up-and-coming entrepreneurs as Zuckerberg uses the company's cash and stock to buy other start-ups to bring in other talented engineers and promising technology. That's what Google has been doing for years.
Zuckerberg's biggest deal so far came when he agreed to buy Instagram, a maker of a popular mobile app for photos, for $1 billion. Because most of the deal is being paid for in Facebook stock, Instagram is already getting richer.
Friday's debut, though, resulted in deals worth much less.
Alper Aydinoglu, a DePaul University student who got 50 shares through Etrade at $38, said he was "disappointed with the first day of trading." His gain on paper: $11.50, but that was before Etrade's standard commission of $9.99.
Aydinoglu still called it an excellent learning opportunity: "On top of everything, I now have the bragging rights that I participated in one of the most popular IPOs of all time."