Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on stage this afternoon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, and Michael Arrington wasted no time in getting to the big question hanging over the company right now, asking Zuckerberg about the steep decline in Facebook’s stock price since its IPO.

“The performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing,” Zuckerberg responded, but he said investors are misunderstanding the potential impact of mobile usage on Facebook in the next three to five years. In fact, he said, mobile will be “fundamentally good.”

There are more users on mobile, they’re more engaged, and more likely to be daily active users than people on desktop computers. In terms of making money from mobile usage, he said he sees mobile as more like TV, because you can’t just slap ads in a right-hand column.

“The ads have to be more integrated,” he said, calling it a “huge opportunity” but acknowledging that Facebook has had “a bunch of missteps” on that front, including betting too much, too early on HTML5 as opposed to native apps.

Facebook released revamped native version of its iOS app last month, considerably boosting the speed and improving other features. The company is also working on a native Android app.

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  • guest

    Even after the decline it’s going for 67x earnings. Not exactly cheap. The IPO was priced far too high (among other problems). Interesting that he regrets the HTML5 bet just as MS is coming to market with W8, which itself made that bet.

  • Guest

    Why are we still paying attention to Facebook? User engagement is down, the mobile strategy is a bust, and the phone is still delayed. Can we please move on to the next flavour-of-the-month social networking site until its IPO inevitably tanks?

    • guest

      People used to say similar things about Amazon.

      • Guest

        People used to say similar things about SixDegrees, MySpace, Friendster, Diggs, and all the other flash-in-the-pan social sites that are taking up valuable space in the tech graveyard. Facebook has more in common with them (being popular only for as long as they’re popular) than it does in common with Amazon (selling goods and services to fuel horizontal and vertical growth).

        • guest

          My point was that a raft of dotcom sites blew up at one stage, Amazon among them. There was no shortage of people then claiming that all e-commerce sites were doomed. Similarly, while a lot of social networking companies have failed, it’s possible FB will endure.

  • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

    Forget investors, you have shareholders now, and they’re not as understanding and patient.

    (Of course they don’t really have shareholders, because shareholders don’t really have votes, and the “investors” who “sold” to the “shareholders” still control the company.)

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