Facebook’s Zuckerberg talks mobile shortcomings, plans for the future

Sep 11, 2012
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Facebook’s Zuckerberg talks mobile shortcomings, plans for the future

It isn't exactly a secret that Facebook is struggling in the mobile realm, something that the company's shareholders aren't too crazy about. Facebook's stock has dropped quite a bit since its IPO thanks largely to shareholder concerns about mobile users, and today, Mark Zuckerberg is tackling these issues at the the TechCrunch Disrupt SF conference. This is the first appearance by Zuckerberg since Facebook went public, and he's using the opportunity to be honest with himself about the shortcomings of Facebook on mobile, and what the company plans to do to change that.

Speaking to Michael Arrington, Zuckerberg noted the potential of mobile as the main platform for accessing Facebook. He says that mobile users access Facebook more often than those using a computer, which means that mobile ads do better than the ads on the main Facebook page do - the problem is that mobile ads aren't integrated as well as ads on the main site. Oh, and for the record, Zuckerberg once again quashed any rumors about an incoming Facebook phone, saying that the company's three main focuses when it comes to mobile are mobile web, iOS, and Android.

Zuckerberg also admitted that one of the biggest problems with Facebook on mobile was that the company relied too much on HTML5. Things are looking up in that respect, however, as apparently the update to the new native iOS app has resulted in mobile users viewing twice as many stories in their news feed. That's definitely an improvement, and Zuckerberg says that he expects a "lot of really cool stuff" to happen with Facebook's mobile offerings in the next six months.

Finally, Zuckerberg said that mobile is the way of the future for the company, as Facebook stands to make more money on mobile than it does on desktop. While that's true in theory, given that a large number of Facebook's users access the site through mobile devices, in practice its proving to be much harder for the company. The question now is: how will Facebook make that significant amount of money from mobile ads? That has yet to be fully answered, but after this talk, it at least seems that Facebook is heading in the right direction. Stay tuned.


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