Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerg sought to pacify investors in his first public appearance since the dismaying May Facebook IPO. He admitted to having been disappointed in the dismal performance of the No. 1 social network site’s shares, adding that Wall Street was yet to understand and fully grasp the immense potential of its mobile business. Zuckerberg was speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Fransisco on Tuesday 11th Sept in a 30-minute address to investors and techies. He hinted at growth areas in mobile and search areas, keeping attendees on the edge of their seats.
The CEO has lost billions on paper since May as the site’s shares continually dip. As if the shock of the dwindling prices is not bad enough, the “lock-up” selling restrictions on shares held by Facebook staff is expiring soon and over 1 billion shares will be available for purchase. His comments during the conference, however, inspired a 3% rise in the share price to $20. This is still way below the initial price offer of $38, although Zuckerberg insisted that this is still a good time to join the company as they have room for growth. Speaking of growth, he dispelled rumours doing the rounds for a year now that Facebook planned to release its own branded smartphones, saying that it would be a very bad strategy on their part.
According to him, the biggest strategic mistake that he made was creating mobile apps using open web standards instead of creating apps suited specifically to Apple and Android devices. This has obviously delayed the development of Facebook apps on these kinds of phones. However, some attendees of the conference maintained that they had faith in the 28-year old CEO and that his appearance at the event raised their hopes and their faith in the company was not shaken.