Before today’s IPO, the biggest story around Facebook for co-founders not named Mark Zuckerberg was the 2010 film The Social Network. While Mark Zuckerberg continues to dominate coverage, I was curious about coverage of his Facebook co-founders, so I took a look at how the media profiles of Christopher Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin have fared lately.
Of course Mark Zuckerberg’s media presence is far and away beyond anything around this group, but a couple of numbers might serve as a baseline for comparison. Using Factiva’s intelligent search capabilities, I created a search of highly relevant mentions of Zuckerberg in relation to Facebook and to Facebook’s IPO. In the last 8 days (May 11-18) he’s received 9,209 media mentions regarding Facebook, including 2,114 in social media. In the two years previous, he received 42,287, including 7,442 in social media. When specific reference to the IPO are included, I found that over the last 8 days 73% of references were related to the IPO (55% of social media references), while over the previous two years 38% were IPO-related (38% of social media).
What about his co-founders? The least well known, Dustin Muskovitz and Christopher Hughes continue to stay out of the Facebook media spotlight, with Hughes totaling just 9 highly-relevant media mentions over the last two years and Muskovitz 3. Out of those 12 combined mentions, 11 came in the last eight days.
The story is a bit different for Eduardo Saverin. His media exposure has always been far ahead of that of Hughes and Muskovitz, and has skyrocketed thanks to recent events. In the two year period ending May 10, 2012, Saverin received 1,221 mentions (including 420 in social media) related to Facebook’s IPO. That’s a mere 8% of Zuckerberg’s total. But in the last week news broke that Saverin had renounced his American citizenship, leading to all manner of speculation due to the fortune – and taxes – expected for him from the impending IPO.
This twist in the Saverin storyline propelled greater media coverage. In the previous two years, Saverin registered 1,333 English-language media mentions related to Facebook, while in the last 8 days the total 1,958 such mentions. That’s 21% of Zuckerberg’s total and an increase of 47% in one week! And considering that Muskovitz and Hughes totaled 198 mentions in the last eight days and 1192 in the two years prior(when not restricting mentions to highly relevant IPO mentions), Saverin moved from 10% more mentions than the pair over two years to having almost ten times as many.