tonight on "nightline," frenzy or fizzle? today, facebook finally went public, creating a new club of very rich investors. but could it change your facebook page? and how can an average joe cash in? >> tell mark we want to buy one share. they are country superstars with millions of fans. so, why are they playing a small town prom? we tag along with lady antebellum, as they give one tornado-ravaged high school the ultimate night to remember. and mermaid for hire. you saw darryl hanna in "splash." now meet one woman who has made swimming under the sea her job.
inside the world of a professional mermaid. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," may 18th, 2012. >> happy friday, everyone. i'm bill weir. well, in the late '90s, you could buy a new tech stock for ten bucks in the morning and sell it for $600 that night. today was not one of those days. though facebook was the most anticipated stock to hit the open market in years. it opened at $38 a share and to better understand mark zuckerberg's big day, took up a collection, set out to buy the "nightline" staff a single share in the company that changed human connection. the company that will probably have to keep changing to avoid yet another dot com bust. crossroads of the world. times square, the nasdaq. >> facebook frenzy. >> reporter: site of a delicious collision of social media and the american dream.
mark? tell mark we want to buy one share. it will take two minutes. we just want to buy one share. too bad you can't actually buy stock here. what do you mean he's not here? in fact, you don't even have to be here to ring the bell. see, he's not even in new york. he he's out in california to ring the bell. huh. i guess i can take this stupid thing off. the ceo began by reminding everybody he would be just as happy keeping facebook private. >> our mission isn't to be a public company. our mission is to make the world more open and connected. let's do this. >> reporter: and there it is. the molt a 28-year-old's dorm room product became more valuable than mcdonald's. it was the moment we expected zuckerberg's picture to change. but alas, the dog remained and the big nasdaq news only got a brief mention in his timeline. all part of the humble hacker
ethic here, reinforced by the pictures of the newly minted millionaires working. and you are an employee? >> i was. i worked there for 4 1/2 years. >> reporter: no kidding. so, you are a stock holder? >> all employees are, yes. >> reporter: so, what are you doing here and not buying a ferrari? >> you know, that's honestly not the company culture to celebrate this kind of stuff. >> reporter: all right, so -- you don't have to say anything, just blink twice for yes and three times for no, should i buy today? luckily, we were able to find someone for forthcoming with opinion. henry, a business insider. >> now, the early builds for facebook were $75 in germany. at that price, it valued at more than google. i would run away screaming at that price. >> reporter: okay, so, it's about 12:30 here in the east. watching our friends s at
bloomberg. trading opened at 11:30. 82 million shares were traded in the first 30 seconds. it jumped from that initial price of $38, then to $44. it started to settle down. i'm going to see if i can't get in on this. i placed my order online. i'm hitting execute. and there we go. one order of fb at $40.82. and "nightline" is now a proud owner of facebook. woo hoo. but dreams of a big bounce fizzled. there were glitches in trading. as the price began to settle, many wondered if facebook set the price too high. some analysts don't like the way they stack up against other internet giants. for example, facebook gets twice as many page views than google. but google makes ten times more revenue. why? well, because most people come to google ready to buy. so, when you put knee-high boots
or pet monkey into that search box, there are guys with wear houlss full of boots and monkeys willing to pay google top dollar to reach you. but most people don't go on facebook to shop. they go to relax and socialize, so, if google is like a mall, facebook is like a park. and how do you sell the people in a park? billboards. banner ads. throw a few up, hope they catch a few eyeballs and hopefully those people are in the mood to buy. after initial resistance, zuckerberg does place subtle ads into your timeline, using your likes and dislikes. they are supposed to be customized. what happens if facebook decides to please all of its new investors by receiving a lot more ads? people might start looking for a better park. do you agree that banner ads suck? >> yes. >> yes. i worked at facebook, too. and for the longest time, they
would focus mainly on user growth and would not compromise with advertising, banner ads. anything like that. >> reporter: but now, zuckerberg's team has to take the intimate details of nearly 1 billion lives and turn them into money. without turning off users. so, what do you guys think? is this going to change the facebook user experience? >> i think slowly, but yeah. they need to make money and the only way to do that is to change some stuff. and it might not be pretty. >> that's the next step, i think. started talking about where it could get ugly. will they start to charge for certain apartments of the experience? >> reporter: whether it's pay walls or selling apps or reinventing the ad, the future of facebook still comes down to the incredible power of the guy in the hoodie. >> he's matured a lot and he's a much better ceo than a lot of people give him credit for. people have the view of him in "the social network." people said, if you are going to lead, you have to take lessons. he did that. and he cultivated a great group.
he's really learned how to lead. >> reporter: though his stock closed with a paltry 28-cent profit per share, mark zuckerberg still made over $19 billion today. i wonder what he'll come up with in his 30s? and factors in our broker's fear, "nightline" is down $10. i guess we'll go long. coming up next, we'll go behind the scenes with lady an tell bell lum, as they own the night as a high school prom that's helping rebuild towns. [ female announcer ] e-trade was founded on the simple belief that bringing you better technology helps make you a better investor. with our revolutionary new e-trade 360 dashboard you see exactly where your money is and what it's doing live. our e-trade pro platform offers powerful functionality that's still so usable you'll actually use it. and our mobile apps are the ultimate in wherever whenever investing. no matter what kind of investor you are,
you'll find the technology to help you become a better one at e-trade. you'll find the technology to help you become a better one these three friends share a house. we swapped their ride for a focus. bad news for their imports. it's really cool looking. what about fuel-efficiency? amazing. i think it gets up to like 40 miles per gallon. kinda cool when the needle never moves. my turn. active park assist... oh, my gosh! when you want to find a gas station, it tells you how much gas is. i didn't even know that. the swap your ride sales event ends soon. get a focus with up $1500 cash back and voice-activated sync at no extra charge. are you gonna just keep the one for the rest of your lives? no, i think we should all get our own.
oats might come to mind. but in indiana, the starring act was lady antebellum that rocked a very special prom. the band even brought a date. abc's juju chang. ♪ when you smile ♪ i can see it shining down on me and you ♪ >> reporter: it's a sound check for lady antebellum, who are in the middle of a 40-city tour. but this stop is different. they are about to play at a high school prom. pretty low key for a megawalt band with a sting of chart-topping hits. ♪ i'm all alone and i need you now ♪ >> reporter: their biggest hit, "need you now," earned them a armload of grammys and millions of fans. >> we are so thankful for this. we can't believe it. what explains how you turned
drunken dialing in the middle of the night into the most romantic song we can remember? >> funny to talk about because it's a drunk dial. for us, it was more of that. the desperation of truly missing somebody. we've all been through that. ♪ when we own the night >> reporter: they sing about young love on their latest album, "own the night." it helps that the band still has youthful sensibility. >> you want to see the coolest thing about the tour? >> reporter: yes. >> more importantly, the coolest thing about the tour. we call this the club. and in here is our ping-pong table. >> reporter: oh, this is living. >> this is what it's all about here. >> ready? paddle high five. >> they always have this table occupied so i'm pretty rusty. >> this is our entertainment. we do this before, after shows. >> ball hog. >> reporter: charles kelley and
dave haywood still act like the buddies they were. dave was considered a musical whiz. >> mine was best all around. nice way of saying, he's not that good looking but he's a nice guy. >> got a great personality. >> great personality. >> reporter: what about you? you can make whatever you like up -- >> i was pretty -- >> reporter: in hue trool spirit, the wand asked their fans nationwide to invite lady a to their prom and the pitches rolled in. >> we would love to have you at our prom. >> reporter: but a few worth nominating themselves -- >> they made a plea for henryville high school. >> holy cow. >> reporter: it was a rare ef-4 twister that carved a path of destruction through the tiny town of henryville, indiana, population, 2,000. it killed 14 people in southern indiana and demolished 160 homes.
this was the high school's gym on surveillance video. fine one minute, blown away in a matter of seconds. >> welcome to henryville. >> good to see you. >> reporter: it's like the rock stars have arrived. come on. lady antebellum couldn't make prom night, so they decided to throw them another one. >> what grade are you in? >> reporter: they took time to visit the school, where massive rebuilding is under way. >> we said, let's make this a big community event to try to raise money for the disaster relief efforts and to also just have a good night. >> reporter: troy albert is the principal. he managed to get everyone to safety with just minutes to spare. >> came around, the back of the house, came straight back up. >> reporter: after the school evacuated, senior cody gray huddled with his family in their basement as 175-mile-an-hour winds whipped overhead. >> sounded like a freight train. that's what it sounded like. it sounded like a big train,
standing right next to a rail road track. >> reporter: cody says he suffered panic attacks after surviving the storm. lady a's lead singer, hillary scott, grow up in tennessee tornado country and says she can sympathize. >> i'll never forget underneath the decembering with the blanket, just runningers down, you know? we never faced anything this tragic, but i definitely know that fear. >> reporter: it really brings it home when you see it like this. >> i know. you see it on tv, once you finally get here, it's too real. >> we just want to take a second to say how much each and every one of you have inspired us and we are so honored to be here. ♪ it's a quarter after one ♪ i'm all alone ♪ and i need you now >> reporter: it was truly a night to remember. for cody and all the kids who weathered the storm. ♪ i need you now
>> reporter: and after the prom? the students were treated to a benefit concert, which didn't just lift spirits, it raised $285,000 to rebuild henryville. >> we need to do this bigger? >> we're leaiving our dream. this is the year we feel like we've really made it, where we can help make an impact. >> there's nothing more rewarding than giving back. >> what good is any of our success if we can't share it? >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in henryville, indiana. >> they sound good. thanks to juju. and just ahead, her 9:00 to 5:00 is spent swimming critters under the sea. we get to know a real life critters under the sea. we get to know a real life mermaid. re are no limits... ♪ like they talked about [ male announcer ] ...we take our best shots, make our best moves, ♪ they will talk about us ♪ nothing can stop us
[ male announcer ] when we all believe, we reach higher, and nothing stops us. when we all believe in the power within, we pave the road to victory. the 2012 jeep wrangler. proud of believing in u.s.a. basketball. is important to any successful business. which is why at wells fargo, we work with you to get to know the unique aspects of your business. we can recommend financial solutions that can work for you that have helped millions of business owners save time, reduce expenses, and maximize cash flow. as the number one small business lender for nine years running... we're with you when you need us. so you can be there for your customers. wells fargo. together we'll go far.
[ kari ] i used to serve my country in the u.s. army. ♪ then, i was hit by a drunk driver and lost my legs. but that didn't change a thing. because i still serve my country, i just wear a different uniform. [ male announcer ] citi is joining kari miller to give back to the paralympic military & veterans program. join the movement at citi.com/everystep and help citi help uu.s. athletes make a difference. together, every step of the way.
america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller alportion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, repeplacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's berage companies are delivering.
if there is a 6-year-old girl in your life, hit record, because she'll probably be overjoyed to discover that professional mermaid is an actual job title, thanks to one woman whose skills at deep sea diving in a heavy sequined tale are giving ariel a run for her money. cameron mathison took the plunge to give us the tricks to the mer-trade. >> reporter: mermaids are creatures of legend. their illusive beauty captures the imagination of sailors crossing lonely waters and hollywood captivated audiences with their sex appeal. like daryl hannah in the movie
"splash." but what about a real-life mermaid, also named hanna? hanna frazier. >> i'm a special underwater mermaid. this is a very rare breed. there's not many of us. >> reporter: she's been fascinated with mermaids since her childhood in australia, where she slipped into her first tail. >> i saw "splash" and i was completely obsessed. i said, i have to make a tail. so, she helped me make this tail out of orange plastic table cloth material and some pillow stuffing in the end to give it a shape. >> reporter: for hanna, being a mermaid is a full-time job. she's been paid to swim the exotic aquariums of the atlantis resort in the bahamas. and appeared in underwater commercials for watches. as effortless as her swimming may seem, there is a lot of skill involved. mainly with breath control. hanna is able to free dive up to 50 feet on one breath alone.
>> i got into some what of a trance. because if you can really chill out, relax enough, you feel your heart rate actually start to slow down. and that requires less oxygen being pumped through the body and then you don't need as much. >> reporter: truth be told, i've always wanted to be a mermaid. a merman. so, i went with hanna to the aquarium of the pacific in long beach, california, for mermaid 101. >> obviously having a tail is a good start. the -- they are quite detailed tails, like, it takes me four months to make each one and every little scale is hand-sewn on. they are a work of art that is fully flexible, maneuverable. i don't know if this is going to work. >> reporter: i was a tight fit and had to make due with a wet suit, which is so unmerman. but it made me appreciate the transformation hanna makes each time she steps in. >> the interesting thing is on land, it is a weird thing. it's very constricting.
oncite in the watte ewater, it' freedom. >> reporter: for hanna, the calling is out in open waters, switching with sharks in the wild to promote their preservation. >> they are not just blood-thirsty predators. they are fairly intelligent creatures and they are endangered in a lot of areas in the world. shark finning going on, they get stuff in long line fishing. it is the my passion, so, i want to be totally real with it and you can't be a mermaid if you are not going to get in the water with all of the beautiful creatures. >> reporter: so, you have to choose. mermaid or human? >> i want to be a mermaid. you are weightless, you are flying through this beautiful environment with all these incredible creatures. i mean, it's total freedom. it's beautiful. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm cameron ma think sthison in beach, california. >> wow. thanks to cameron and thank you for watching abc news.