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.
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?
Since the botched IPO of Facebook when investors saw their Facebook stock price plummet, there has been a lot of talk about whether this marks the end for Facebook. They’ve made a lot of changes recently which are proving very unpopular with Facebook users – individuals and brands alike.
Timeline is one update which has caused a huge stir in the brand page owner community. Research suggest that the EdgeRank algorithm, the algorithm which determines which content users see in their news feed, only delivers updates to 12% of the average users friends. If you’re a brand working hard to ramp up your follower numbers, this will come as fairly disappointing news.
And what’s even more disconcerting is the news that overall user engagement on Facebook has fallen by a massive 34%, with one third of users spending less time on the social network than they were six months ago. The study also revealed that 4 out of 5 users had never been engaged by an ad displayed on Facebook. This could explain why General Motors pulled all advertising from Facebook just before the IPO.
The problem could lie in the way people are accessing social media, as we’re all getting busier and choosing to multi-task using smart phones, the majority of users are switching to mobile versions of their favourite social networking sites. Today, Twitter smashed the 400 million tweets per day mark, and revealed the immense success they’ve been having with their mobile ad revenue. Perhaps this is an area where Facebook should be focussing their attention, as they’ve already admitted that they don’t “get mobile”.
If you’re using Facebook as a company and running a page, one piece of advice would be to get to grips with the PageRank algorithm, as this will help you to understand who is seeing your content and when is best to post. If the thought of understanding an algorithm leaves you in a cold sweat, then you could also try paying close attention to your Facebook analytics, and to traffic driven to your main website from social media. These are good ways to determine what time of day is best for engagement.
The Farcebook fiasco has been dominating headlines over the past week – at the moment the stock price stands at 33.03 which is up 1.03 (3.22%) which shows an improvement over the drastic plummet we saw following the IPO. As more and more information seeps to the surface, the consequences for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, and the investment banks involved in the IPO are looking bleak as the case is now under scrutiny by Senate lawmakers. Some are predicting the slow decline of Facebook as ad revenue dwindles.
In a bizarre and unexpected move, Facebook released a camera app this week, leaving many wondering why they forked out all that money for Instagram. The app was developed independently of the Instagram team, leaving many questioning if they’re hoping to replace Instgram, or simply see what options are available for a Facebook integrated camera app.
Google has received an unprecedented number of requests to remove URL’s which contain material which infringes on copyright law. More requests were made last week than in the entirety of 2009. In Google’s Transparency Report, we can see that in the past month there have been over 1.2 million URLs requested to be removed from over 24,000 websites.
Stephen Fry used his Twitter superpowers for good (yet again!) yesterday as he helped to drive The Big Tweet for missing children or organised by @missingpeople This further highlights the way technology has changed the world around us, even down to the way search for missing people – gone are the days of faces on milk cartons (although, I don’t think we ever did this in the UK – but Mashable wrote a very good article about it, so I’m going to use the phrase.)
Weeks after the launch of Google Penguin, the Wall Street Journal is looking at the ways the changes to the search algorithm have hurt small businesses. Although not guilty of keyword stuffing, they’re not active in content generation, meaning being present is no longer enough, you have to speak up too.
And finally, were you getting tired of seeing Zooey Deschanel try to order tomato soup? Apple has released their latest Siri advert with the wonderful John Malkovich pondering the meaning of life. John and Siri – a perfect match, wouldn’t you say?
We expected fireworks and were instead dissapointed with the pop and fizzle as the shareprice was seen tumbling over the past few days. So what exactly went wrong? and is there anyone directly at fault?
It seems that Zuckerberg’s wedding ceremony wasn’t the only thing kept hush-hush – the story of how Facebook stock was grossly overvalued in the run up to the world’s biggest tech IPO is now slowly coming out.
Reuters released a report which speculates that just days before the IPO, Facebook requested that their revenue forecasts be cut in line with their expected growth. It then transpired that Mongan Stanley informed their top clients of these changes - those most likely to sink plenty of money into the IPO. The higher than value share price, coupled with a lower than expected demand lead to the price falling by 18% since Friday. Ouch.
It’s now trading steady at around $32, but some are even forecasting that even this is higher than it should be. This morning, Scott Kessler of S&P Capital IQ gave Facebook a 12 month target price of $30.
While the hot news this week is all about the Facebook IPO – with every tech news outlet on the planet debating the issue of ‘to buy or not to buy’ (with the majority ruling that you shouldn’t buy, but probably will) on this side of the pond a group of Austrian activists may be gearing up to throw a spanner in the Facebook works.
Mark Zuckerberg - Image from Mashable
The question now is, if this issue was put to a worldwide vote, would Facebook users be informed enough to vote, or would they even care enough to vote. The chnages would be binding if more than 30% of users voted in favour, a policy which is set out by Facebooks own statement of rights and responsibilities.
I reported last week on a study which said that privacy controls were ignored by a huge 13 million American users. While we don’t have any data from Europe or the rest of the world, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume the same.
With the new proposed data use policy being a hefty and jargon-filled document, it’s easy to see how the average social networker could be completely unpeterurbed by the potential privacy risks.
Share your thoughts below – would you like to see this issue go to a worldwide vote?
Here’s what you may have missed in the world of social media, SEO and general internet goodies.
A novel use for Twitter: live-tweeting brain surgery. A hospital in America reached over 14.5 million people when they updated a liv twitter-feed whilst removing a tumour from a patients brain. [warning: graphic] This is isn’t for the queasy.
Bing is set to be given a make-over with a new three column layout. This layout includes organic search results, a snapshot of the search, and social media integration. Finally, social search to rival Google.
Looking for ways to maximise your SEO budget? Seo.com has it covered. They dish up this advice for making the most of your cash, including: providing great content, and implementing site changes quickly.
Across the pond, the FBI are looking for new and interesting ways to snoop into ordinary American’s personal information. Missing the days when they could phone-tap, they now want backdoor access to social media sites to allow them to monitor suspected criminals. And they want social media sites to not protest this law.
Studies released by Pew Internet have revelaed that 18% of smartphone owners use social check in apps. Even more reason to get your company up and available for check ins.
Just in time for the Facebook IPO, co-founder Edouardo Saverin has given up his American citizenship. Which will conveniently mean he pays less tax when Facebook cashes in.
David Cameron was left red in the face after it was revealed he doesn’t speak txtspk. He reportedly ended a message to Rebekah Brooks with LOL thinking that it meant lots of love.
It’s been a Facebook and Google heavy week for social media and tech news.
Women’s rights group Ultraviolet lashed out at Facebook over the complete lack of female board members; the Facebook userbase is 58% female, and yet they’re not represented on the board.
Facebook announced on Monday that they have hit the 901 million users mark, which puts them on track to hit the 1 billion mark well before the end of the year. If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd biggest in the world. It isn’t all good news though, as ReadWriteWeb also reports that their reach is lagging.
Ever wonder how Google works? If you have 7 minutes to spare, this video will tell you everything you want to know about how the search algorithm returns all those sites.
Following on from the story that Google would be updating their algorithms to make the Internet a little less spammy, as of yesterday, sites which offer keyword littered nonesense would be demoted in the Pagerank. And Justin Bieber is one of the keywords they’ll be targetting – finally! Not to worry though – SEO.com have offered up some top tips for avoiding the over-optimisation penalty.
On a lighter note, Google released another fun easter egg – trying searching for ‘zerg rush’ for a fun little Saturday afternoon game.
If you heard a loud bang yesterday, it was probably the sound of the Internet exploding as the news of Facebook’s most recent purchase reached the tech community. Twitter was awash with comments, and every tech news source – from Mashable to GigaOm – was clamouring to document their take on Facebook dropping $1 billion for Instagram. Thats $1,000,000,000; enough to buy 200,000,000 kodak disposable cameras and take 5,400,000,000 grainy pictures. (Assuming you spend about $5 and have 27 exposures) Bargain.
Only a week after Instagram was made available on the Android marketplace (and was positively eaten alive by ‘Droid users) this most recent news is one step too far for many of the original iPhone Instagrammers, who feel that their private community has been desecrated by the influx of new users.
The news have left some wondering if this will mark the end of the simplicity of instagram, which is its most appealing aspects. That, and the privacy iPhone users had in their small gated community before their photos were opened up to the world.
So, here’s a round-up of some of the coverage the recent acquisition has received so far:
And finally, security at the Bigfoot Digital blog was compromised this week. We can confirm that it has been taken over. Sources say that her name is Laura, she loves all things social media, and dreams of owning a pug named Willoughby.