Zuckerberg: Mobile Is Key, Search On Way

Mobile and a mention of a search product highlight the fireside chat.

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg had a techy fireside chat at Disrupt Wednesday, and one thing was made perfectly clear: FB is not building a phone.

"Mobile is the key to Facebook moving forward," Zuckerberg said.  A little later he said, "[A phone] is absolutely the wrong strategy for us."

Boom. Done. The 950 million users Facebook has attracted does not scale to the production of handheld devices.

Moving on ... How about that stock price?

Zuckerberg maintains that too many people are underestimating his company, but that he prefers to be underestimated to sitting on a pedastal.

"Building a business and building a mission go hand-in-hand," he said early on in the chat. "This is not the first up and down that we've had. People [at Facebook] are fairly used to having the press be both positive and negative about us."

Toward the end of the discussion Zuckerberg indicated that his teams were about "halfway through" with a product reboot that is core to the business -- but he wouldn't elaborate. He strives to be best-of-breed in all aspects on his platform, and they're driving toward that, he said.

Mobile, however, was a definite focus -- now and moving forward. As is search.

"The founder's letter on the S-1 filing? I wrote that on my mobile phone," Zuckerberg said.

The FB mobile web traffic is more than the iOS and Android traffic, combined. And those apps are the two most-trafficked available, anywher. Also, since the new apps have launched, however, the number of News Feed stories consumed has doubled, he said.

Ads for mobile are more deeply integrated into the experience because of the smaller screen, but they're also getting more traction with users than the right-rail ads served up on the website.

Search is another area of opportunity Zuckerberg called out, adding that providing results for users looking for friends, recent check-ins and restaurant reviews might surface a certain sushi joint.

Basically, we know more about you than you may be cognizant of -- kind of like Google+ and the ongoing Google product integrations.

Below are some choice quotes from the discussion:

"What really motivates people at Facebook is building stuff that they're proud of."

"It's a great time for people to join [Facebook} and a great time [for employees] to double-down."

"Mobile is a lot closer to TV than the desktop experience."

Speaking of whether he codes or not: "Everything I do breaks -- but we fix it quickly."

On mobile devices: "Its so clearly the wrong strategy for us. We want to build a system that is as deeply integrated as possible in all devices. No one is more integrated on mobile web. On iOS we wanted to build a great app -- a good, fundamental place for us."

"We're going to be doing killer stuff there."

On search: "We do a billion queries a day and we're basically not even trying."

On gaming: "Zynga is losing share while others like king.com are gaining. [We see] 235 million people playing games monthly."

Last question: Are you still having fun?

"It's not about fun for me, though. It's about mission."


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