LinkedIn shares exploded up $42 a share, or 94%, to more than $87 in its debut after pricing at $45 a share Wednesday night.

The debut is the first of what will surely be many more social media initial public offerings in the months and years ahead.

LinkedIn's (NYSE: LNKD) IPO raised $353 million for the business social media company and gives the firm a paper value of more than $4 billion -- the largest valuation for an Internet firm since Google's blowout IPO back in 2004.

The stock's impressive opening-day pop is the largest for a U.S. IPO since the 2009 debut of restaurant reservation website OpenTable, according to Renaissance Capital.

Analysts expect other high-profile social media and Internet companies to follow LinkedIn's successful path in the near future with goliath Facebook and its 500 million-plus registered users viewed as the crown jewel.

Online coupon site Groupon, once an acquisition target of Google, as well as microblogging giant Twitter and web game maker Zynga are all expected to test the IPO market in the next year.


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