Zuckerberg Enters The Lion’s Den: IPO, Mobile, Instagram and Search

Whether you are a tech zealot, frustrated shareholder, ordinary user, or just one Larry Page (or secretly all the aforementioned) you probably would really want to hear what Mr. hoodie of the decade, Mark Zuckerberg, has to say. And since Facebook public offering debacle (disagree? tell that to investors that lost half their money), lil’ Zuck barely peeped publicly.

That is, until yesterday… {pause for dramatic effect}

In a gripping interview at TechCrunch Disrupt, the Zuck talked about the past, present and future of the social networking company he founded and now CEOing. At first, it was speculated that the sympathetic Steven Levy from Wired would conduct the interview but eventually it turned out to be {the big bad wolf} Michael Arrington, which is known for his carnivorous style.

Here are my main takes from the interview plus my own sage thoughts. If you don’t desire to read my insightful {and hilarious} comments, you can watch the full interview in the video below. Mark enters the lion’s den in 3…2…1…

Mark Zuckerberg Inrerviewes By Michael Arrington

IPO Fallout

Arrington got right to the point and asked Zuck to issue the company’s IPO and the 50 percent drop in the share price since then. Zuckerberg said that “the performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing,” and that they (the company) think about long-term. Then, Zuck did a brilliant ducking maneuver and tried to switch the conversation’s topic to mobile…

But an old fox like Arrington wouldn’t fall into maneuvers like that, perplexing as they might be… and we were back to the IPO. Zuckerberg kept restating his old mantra that they don’t build services to make money but they make money to build better services, however, he also added that Facebook focusing on creating tools for developers and advertisers to incentivize them to work with the company.

An interesting issue that Zuckerberg briefly discussed was that the company will compensate its employees based on money rather than shares, meaning if the stock price goes down employees will receive more shares (or options) as compensations, “it’s a great time for people to join and it’s a great time for people to stay and double down.”

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Arrington mentioned that in the past he was rough on Facebook (as others) regarding its mobile products (“some of your mobile products are the worst products I ever seen in my life”) and asked Zuckerberg to issue this burning topic. After the Zuck already said at the beginning of the conversation that mobile is fundamentally good for Facebook (during his maneuvering effort), at this point he elaborated some more.

Zuck said there will be more mobile users (which are more likely to become daily users) which will spend more time and the company will make more money on each of these users than on desktop. To do so, Facebook is working on mobile ad products which will be much more integrated into the platform, while the current existing mobile ads already performs better than desktop ads.

In a nice moment of self-criticism, Zuckerberg admitted that one of the biggest mistakes of the company about mobile and in general was betting on HTML5 instead of native (the geeky coding stuff). He essentially explained that the company somewhat wasted two years developing an HTML5 framework which eventually didn’t provided the quality they wanted so they had to start over with native (the iOS app is already live and the Android app will roll out soon).

Zuck stated that the mobile web however, is huge for the company and it is even bigger than the iOS and Android apps combined. I think that it actually stresses how people still consuming the web today- In spite of mobile apps’ usage surge immensely, the mobile web is still far up ahead.

The last thing discussed about mobile is of course the possibility for a Facebook’s mobile phone. Zuckerberg made it very convincingly obvious (although Arrington didn’t believed him) that Facebook is NOT working on building a mobile phone as “its so clearly the wrong strategy for us.”

Mark Zuckerberg ExplainsInstagram Now Over 100 Million Users

Facebook has just recently {finally} closed the Instagram deal which already announced back in April and Zuckerberg took this opportunity on stage to announce that Instagram has crossed the 100 million registered users milestone. That is quite amazing considering that month and a half ago they’ve just announced 80 million users, proving that Instagram still growing in a monstrous pace.

Zuckerberg described the background behind the acquisition which basically sums up to- Hey, we already work so much together and plan to in the future, why don’t we just become one company. Zuckerberg reassured again that there are no plans of integrating Instagram into Facebook as a whole as it will be “a waste of time.” So all you Instagram fanatics, remain calm because it seems that Instagram is going to stay independent.

Team Working On Search

“Search is very interesting,” said Zuckerberg and says me, then he flaunted a bit that Facebook is doing about a billion of search queries each day {holy cow!} without even trying… most of these queries are designated to find other people but there’s also a significant portion that commercially designated for finding business, pages and apps {Ca-Ching!}.

Intriguingly, Zuckerberg perceives the future of search as more of answering questions and less than showing results based on keywords-relevancy (which by the way is similar to Google’s futuristic approach). According to belligerent Mark, “Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of the questions people have,” and “we have a team working on search…”

“Wait, WHAT??” asked Arrington {and Larry Page} in amazement, craving for some more details about this potential world-changing thing. But the Zuck rebuffed to shed more light about that {while my PanicMeter showed strange considerable rise in Mountain View}.

It seems that the interview went pretty well because the FB stock climbed over 4% in the after hours trading…

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