SAN FRANCISCO -- While Twitter executives and founders celebrated the company's first day of public trading Thursday on Wall Street, the scene was much less jubilant on Market Street, where the social media giant has its headquarters.

As Twitter soared more than 70 percent above its initial public offering price during morning trading, a small group of protesters gathered outside the social network's doors, and others yelled obscenities from the street, a reminder that not all San Franciscans are happy with the rise of big tech in their city.

Twitter employees showed up between 6 and 6:30 a.m. -- many sporting T-shirts with the company's iconic blue bird logo -- although the company kept any early-morning festivities under lock and key. A lineup of San Francisco police officers kept media and any uninvited guests outside.

The bright smiles on the faces of a few young women, who said they worked in Twitter's recruiting department, as they bounded across Market Street gave a hint of the good cheer some employees felt.

Another sunny group of employees came outside shortly after trading began just before 8 a.m. Pacific Time: "It was fun," one man said of the celebration inside.

It was certainly a good day to be a Twitter employee, many of whom will soon be able to exercise stock grants and options -- although they can't sell that stock right away.

"That will boost the economy, because they (will) buy stuff," said James Soncuya, a Daly City resident who said he works for the city of San Francisco.

Soncuya doesn't tweet -- he "never got into it" -- but he applauded the company's decision to go public and said the payday was good for the region.

People enjoy breakfast across the street from Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Twitter held their initial public
People enjoy breakfast across the street from Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Twitter held their initial public stock offering today with the opening price of $45, 73 percent above the initial offering price.(John Green/Bay Area News Group) ( JOHN GREEN )

But many in San Francisco, particularly the youth and activist communities, have blamed Twitter for contributing to the city's escalating rent prices, which they say have forced working-class people from their homes.

"While billionaires are getting tax subsidies, people are getting kicked out of their homes," said Steve Zeltzer, an activist with state labor group United Public Workers for Action who protested outside Twitter headquarters. "People are fed up."

A disparate group of activist and labor organizations organized the protests, calling the day of action #ThrownOutByTwitter. The first protest, at 6:30 a.m., rounded up only about a dozen protesters.

Ironically, many of the activists Thursday said they had Twitter accounts; some used the site to get their message out.

Community activist group San Francisco Rising has said it's angry over the tax break Twitter received from the city in 2011 as part of an incentive to bring companies to the Central Market district, which many city officials and residents consider an eyesore in need of revitalization. But activists argue that the city should have collected that revenue to fund much-needed social services.

"Neighborhoods are being transformed and not for the benefit of the majority of San Franciscans. Average rents for a one-bedroom apartment in the city have eclipsed $3,000 and long-term residents -- many of whom are seniors and people with disabilities -- are very vulnerable to eviction," according to a Facebook page set up to organize Thursday's protests.

One woman, biking past the Twitter offices, yelled profanity at the building, saying Twitter's greed had ruined the neighborhood.

The need for social services, and the city's wealth gap, is perhaps nowhere more glaring than along the Market Street corridor. A half-block west from Twitter, a new high-rise luxury apartment building is under construction. A half-block in the other direction, a man dressed in rags dragged a trash can full of blankets and used furniture down the street. A man begged for change from people a few feet from Twitter's front doors.

Dave Williamson, a carpenter from Santa Rosa who was in the city Thursday looking for work, said the IPO was underwhelming.

When asked if he planned to buy any shares, Williamson pretended to look on the sidewalk for spare change.

Finding none, he turned and asked: "With what?"

Contact Heather Somerville at 510-208-6413. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.