Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg today laid out his 2012 goals to about 200 investors who showed up at one of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) presentations in Palo Alto, California. He declared his first priority was to improve the social network’s mobile app, according to Reuters.
While this is not something you would typically hear Zuckerberg say, the young man is learning to be a bit more transparent as his company moves to go public next week. Facebook’s mobile strategy will be key to its performance on the stock market (see also: “We’re going to become a mobile company”).
Facebook this week updated its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the sixth time. The only major change was a reemphasis that monetizing mobile won’t be easy.
Facebook is experiencing a shift of its user base from the Web to mobile, but this means fewer ads per -user. While Facebook announced mobile ads three months ago and even has Sponsored Stories in the mobile version of the News Feed (such as Offers), it doesn’t yet have any numbers to show off.
Since Facebook essentially makes no money in mobile right now, and hasn’t yet been able to prove it can do so, mobile is a threat that could hurt revenue in the long term. Mobile ads aren’t an easy solution; in addition to the usual potential privacy issues, Facebook has to figure out how to work around the problems every advertiser faces in mobile: small screens, slower connections, and the much more personalized relationship users have with their mobile devices.