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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Has Facebook Surpassed It's Darkest Hour? Zuckerberg Brings an Aersonal of Stats and Strategy

 Article first published as Has Facebook Surpassed It's Darkest Hour? Zuckerberg Brings an Aersonal of Stats and Strategy on Technorati on 9/12/2012

Facebook is not looking into building a phone. Mark Zuckerberg made that clear during the 30 minute, standing room only interview with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this past Tuesday. It seemed like Mark had quite a bit to cover on his agenda. He spoke like a man with a mission spewing stats about mobile and covering topics from regrets to open graph product opportunities.

He said, "building a mission and a business go hand in hand." As much as he believes in the company mission of building a more open and connected world and a focus on long term growth; he recognizes the importance of both. He had plenty to discuss as his first public appearance since the IPO in May. He was laden with stats and what sounded like a plan that was now humming like a well oiled machine focusing on mobile. You could feel the energy exuding from Zuckerberg as he chatted it up with Mr. Arrington. He spoke quickly to get out all the data that he wanted to share with everyone. It was great to see Zuckerberg really does have things under control, despite investor feedback and forecasts.

What Facebook has done is retool the product infrastructure and the way they build product from a more vertical model into more horizontal product grouping beginning last December. Mark said this retooling did have an impact on the growth of the company. They have just released the iOS improved mobile Facebook app and expect to deliver an Android version in the near future after switching from HTML5 to Native. Mark admitted he regretting putting all his eggs in one basket re HTML5, however they have moved on from that and are in a good place using Native.

Mark said today, "We are a mobile company." He had the stats to prove it. There are 5Billion phone users. Engagement and users are up from Facebook mobile. Mobile users are likely to use Facebook 6 out of 7 days per week. Mark appeared confident in his mobile strategy going forward.

Another idea they have been working on is a search product. Currently, they have 1Billion queries a day. Most users are looking for people, however, they are also looking for pages and apps from a business perspective. Mark said that they are looking to take a new approach to the search engine style and use the data that they have to answer questions that people want to know. He feels that this is a huge opportunity for Facebook, as well as a unique one since they are the only company with this kind of big data about users.

For Mark, he says, "It's not really about the fun. It's about the mission." He wants people to work for Facebook because they believe in the products and the mission. He wants people to be proud of what they are building and share it with their family and friends. It's a great time to be involved with Facebook as a user and an employee.

Mark said that Facebook is very self critical and that he prefers to be in the like of the underdog position where he can take risks and come out wowing stock holders and consumers. It seems this interview spurred on a rally on Wall Street and raised the stock price to close at just under the $20 mark. This begs the question...has Facebook passed it's darkest hour? If you haven't bought stock yet, this might be the best time to buy because based on an interview like this, the forecast looks good.

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