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What’s Next for Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the biggest social network in the world, has finally broken his silence and spoken about the IPO for the first time. On Tuesday he addressed attendees at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco in a Q&A session. Casually dressed and at ease in front of an audience of tech bloggers and journalists, Zuckerberg admitted to the IPO in May being “disappointing.”

Since the flawed initial public offering earlier this year, Facebook’s stock price has fallen dramatically. But his speech on Tuesday seems to have reassured investors, as the stock price is slowly recovering.

This has finally put to rest the talk about Zuckerberg stepping down as CEO and letting someone more experienced take on the job. An article in the LA Times suggested that the 28-year-old CEO is in over his hoodie. The article suggests that while the CEO’s of start-ups can often “grow” into the job and learn as they go along, things have moved far too quickly for Zuckerberg to keep up, and he should therefore hand over the reigns to someone else.

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A poll on Mashable conducted last month seems to show that the public vote is inconclusive, with 45.05% saying he should stay,  42.53%  saying he should go, and 12.42% remaining undecided. Zuckerberg seems to have put these thoughts to rest as he set the public straight on the botched IPO. Zuckerberg has made giant leaps in the right direction as he admitted to the faults, and then told shareholders what they’re planning to do to bounce back.

The two areas everyone has been dying to hear more about were covered in the Q&A session, much to the delight of tech journalists everywhere. Mobile and Search were the two words on everyone’s lips, and Zuckerberg did not fail to deliver.

While Zuckerberg did quash any rumours that may have been circulating about Facebook developing a smartphone, he also confirmed that Facebook has big plans for mobile, and admitted fault in misjudging HTML5. The Facebook CEO admitted that they have placed too much focus on HTML5 when developing for mobile, and not enough on native apps. This is a problem they will see overcome shortly, as Facebook will be fully integrated on iOS6.

Social Search is also a booming sector, and one in which Facebook could give Google a run for their money. Zuckerberg confirmed that they currently process over a billion search requests per day, and this is without even trying. A successful social search engine would go hand in hand with a highly successful ad network.

So Zuckerberg has managed to win back the support of his shareholders. The only question now is: can he deliver what he’s promised?

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