Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he is steering the social network giant to focus more on mobile, saying it will help ease concerns after a “disappointing“ stock market debut.
“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),” Mr Zuckerberg said during an on-stage interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
“That is the future,” he said. “We are going to be doing killer stuff there.”
Facebook has made a priority of following its 900 million-plus members onto smartphones and tablet computers, tailoring services and money-making ads for mobile devices.Mr Zuckerberg’s appearance at the conference was his first public interview since the massive public offering on May 18 that was hotly anticipated - but ended up being a flop.
He conceded that Facebook’s stock performance “has obviously been disappointing”.
However, he was adamant that the company was being underestimated and was on track to make “more money on mobile than we make on desktop”.
Facebook shares have lost around half their value since the IPO at $US38 ($A36.59) a share.The shares gained 3.30 per cent on Wall Street on Tuesday to close at $19.43. In after-hours trading following Mr Zuckerberg’s remarks, the stock gained another 3.14 per cent to $20.06.
Mr Zuckerberg rejected criticism that 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 would pursue its “mission about making the world more connected” while seeking to make money for shareholders.
Mr Zuckerberg has stated repeatedly, even in pre-IPO paperwork with US regulators, that Facebook did not build great services to make money but made money to build great services.Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said Mr Zuckerberg’s talk at the conference rekindled some of Facebook’s pre-IPO excitement but did not make up for the fact that the company’s stock has been a loser.
“Bottom line, Zuckerberg sounded good,” Mr Kagan said. “However this does not solve the investment problem the company still faces every day.”