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Zuckerberg eyes mobile after Facebook IPO flop

September 12, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said yesterday he is steering the social network giant to a more mobile focus, saying this will help ease concerns after a “disappointing” stock market debut.

“The performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing,” Zuckerberg said during an on-stage interview at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.

Facebook has made a priority of following its more than 900 million members onto smartphones and tablet computers, tailoring services and money-making ads for mobile devices.

“It is really clear from the stats and my own personal intuition that a lot of energy in the ecosystem is going to mobile not desktop (computers),” Zuckerberg said.

“That is the future,” he continued. “We are going to be doing killer stuff there.”

Zuckerberg was adamant that the company was being underestimated and was on track to make “more money on mobile than we make on desktop.”

Zuckerberg appeared at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, in his first public interview since the massive public offering May 18 that was hotly anticipated but ended up being a flop.

Facebook shares have lost around half their value since the IPO at US$38 a share.

The shares gained 3.30 percent on Wall Street yesterday to close at US$19.43. In after-hours trading following Zuckerberg’s remarks, the stock gained 3.50 percent to $20.11.

Zuckerberg said that despite the early stock market disappointment, “we’re going to execute this mission about making the world more connected.”

Zuckerberg also sought to address critics who suggest the company is ill-prepared for a shift to mobile devices, where Facebook has only begun to get ad revenues.

“Now, we are a mobile company,” he said.

He said the company will seek to pursue its “mission” while seeking to make money for shareholders.

“We are a mission driven company,” he said.

“Building a mission and building a business go hand in hand. From the beginning we’ve had this understanding we’ve had to do both.”



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