Almost four months after Facebook’s disastrous IPO, Zuckerberg finally broke his silence at TechCrunch Disrupt. Speaking to Arrington, Zuckerberg described the stock performance as ‘disappointing’, and shed his characteristic indifference towards Wall Street in an attempt to win back the confidence of investors who have been hurt by the sliding Facebook stock. However, the most interesting revelation came when Arrington enquired about mobile web, which is often highlighted by analysts as Facebook’s biggest challenge.
When I’m introspective about the last few years I think the biggest mistake that we made, as a company, is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native… because it just wasn’t there. And it’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, on long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile Web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile Web is a big thing for us.
Last month, Facebook doubled its iOS app’s speed and responsiveness by ditching HTML5 in favor of native. The significant overhaul of Facebook’s iPhone app left Android users, who have long been treated as second class citizens by Facebook, disappointed once again. However, Zuckerberg has promised that a similar native Android app is on the way.
Zuckerberg also dismissed Facebook phone as “the wrong strategy”, but hinted that search might be something that Facebook will eventually get around to doing. Facebook’s deep integration into the fabric of the World Wide Web through the Open Graph enables it to collect treasure troves of metrics that can lend it a decisive advantage in deciphering the semantic web. Zuckerberg’s belief that search is a natural progression for Facebook is precisely the reason why Google has been desperately trying to get into the social media arena.