The Facebook CEO said his social networking company is now completely focused on mobile and that it is poised to make more money from customers using smartphones and tablets than from those accessing the site from PCs.
Yesterday, Zuckerberg went public himself at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. In his first public comments since Facebook went public nearly four months ago, Zuckerberg, without his trademark hoodie but dressed casually in a T-shirt and sneakers, admitted he has made some mistakes — saying his company wasted too much time programming on HTML5 and then trying to transfer it over to mobile.
That process didn’t work, Zuckerberg told an audience at a TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco yesterday. Now, the CEO said, Facebook is developing native apps for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android systems.
Investors seemed to like what Zuck said in the Q&A session — shares of Facebook rose more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.
Facebook had fallen more than 50 percent from its $38 debut price on May 18 amid concern it didn’t have the chops to profit from the fast-growing mobile platform.
Zuckerberg said it was easy to understand how people underestimated the company and its mobile business “without us being out there talking about stuff we’re doing.”
Zuckerberg said the company is only just beginning to crack mobile advertising, but he cited some positive trends like increased engagement on mobile and better ad performance.
Facebook recently released its new iOS app and is developing one for Android.
Zynga, which makes games played on Facebook, whose shares have tumbled alongside Facebook and were off more than 70 percent this year, closed up 1.1 percent to $2.79.
Zuckerberg also talked about how Facebook is working with Apple on tighter integration with the iPhone maker’s mobile software.
He could not mention “iOS” enough, and it couldn’t come at a more relevant time, as Apple is set to unveil its iPhone 5 today.
The interview also delved into the areas that Facebook has yet to enter, such as search.
“We do on the order of a billion queries a day and we’re basically not even trying,” Zuckerberg said, about how many people tap Facebook’s search bar to look for people, apps and fan pages.
Zuckerberg noted the transformation in search, in which people want their questions answered and not just a list of relevant websites.
“We are uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions that people have,” he said. He used as an example what sushi restaurants friends have visited.
Entering the search market would be a major play for Facebook, opening the potential for a new source of revenue and putting fear into the heart of Google.
“At some point we’ll do it,” Zuckerberg said.
As for the low share price, Zuckerberg said it hasn’t helped employee morale, but it represents an opportunity for the company’s recruitment efforts. Facebook can offer more shares for the pay packages it hands out.
“It’s a great time for people to join,” he said. “And a great time for people to stay and double down.”
Watch Video of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch’s Disrupt
Facebook’s founder and CEO makes his first appearance since the company’s IPO. Forbes’s Connie Guglielmo and Ryan Mac discuss video: