Facebook's Zuckerberg Speaks At Conference About Stock Performance
September 12, 2012

Zuckerberg Disappointed In Stock Performance, Still Not Coming Out With A Phone

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the hot seat last night at TechCrunch´s Disrupt 2012 conference.

In his conversation with Michael Arrington, Zuck discussed several topics, such as their recent acquisition of Instagram, their use of HTML 5, their mobile strategies and, of course, the fact that shares of FB have been suffering since the rock-n-roll show that was the Facebook IPO.

Arrington asked Zuckerberg about Facebook´s stock market performance first, asking the CEO how he felt about the disappointing IPO and ever-slipping shares.

“Well, the performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing,” said Zuckerberg. At the time of this writing, shares of FB are trading at $19.43, down considerably since the IPO, where shares first hit the scene at $38. While shares remain below where they began, TechCrunch points out that after-hour trading began to pick up as soon as Zuckerberg took the stage, sending shares of FB up to $25.05, a modest 4.48% increase, but an increase all the same.

Perhaps these traders saw some confidence in the social network king as he gave his first public appearance since the IPO and his hush-hush marriage to Priscilla Chan.

Said Zuckerberg, “It´s not the first up and down that we ever had.”

Michael Arrington then asked Zuck how the poorly performing stock and subsequent scrutiny has affected the internal morale at Facebook. “Well, you know it doesn´t help,” said Zuckerberg, who alone has lost more than $9 billion during the whole fiasco.

“Maybe some people will leave. I actually think it´s a great time for people to join and also for people to stay and double down.”

Perhaps those remaining Facebookers will be spending their time on improving their mobile offerings. The social network only recently updated their iPhone app, an app which had the well-earned reputation of being incredibly slow.

Part of the problem with their iOS app was their reliance on HTML 5. In their attempts to build a one-app-fits-all offering, Zuckerberg said they missed some opportunities to build one great app to increase user interaction. Saying the company was “in a pretty bad place” 6 months ago, Zuckerberg also said their new focus is on building native apps for specific platforms, as evidence by their greatly improved iOS app.

It´s a push Zuckerberg obviously feels is the right direction for Facebook, telling Arrington, “On mobile, we are going to make a lot more money than on desktop.”

“We´re going to execute this mission to make the world connected and build value over the long-term. The bigger question that will define how we´ve done is how we do with mobile.”

According to Zuck, native apps cause more users to spend more time interacting with the social network, presenting advertisers with a slew of captive eyeballs. While incorporating banner ads into a smaller, mobile experience could be difficult, Facebook has been able to succeed by inlaying these ads directly into a user´s News Feed. Of course, not everyone feels great about having their Facebook experience interrupted by ads in their timeline, and rightfully so.

With so much talk about focusing on mobile, Arrington had to ask about that rumored Facebook phone which has been sticking around for a few years.

"It is so clearly the wrong strategy for us," Zuckerberg said. "It doesn't move the needle for us."