Zuckerberg’s defence rallies Facebook stock

FACEBOOK’S chief executive Mark Zuckerberg defended the company last night in his first public speech since the social network’s disastrous flotation, moving shares up more than four per cent and promising a number of changes to the business.

Speaking at San Francisco’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Zuckerberg admitted that the company’s performance since May’s initial public offering had been “disappointing” but said it was seeing promising signs in its mobile advertising operations.

Mobile has been seen as the firm’s Achilles’ heel due to the difficulty of placing ads on a smaller screen, but Zuckerberg denied Facebook was making a phone, claiming it “would be clearly the wrong strategy for us”, saying he was focusing on integrating with existing mobile operating systems.

Shares rose 4.58 per cent in after-hours trading last night to $20.32.

Zuckerberg promised that “in the next six to nine months a lot more exciting stuff is going to come,” and hinted that Facebook was working on rivalling Google by expanding its search operations.