Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg turns 28 today, and he will be marking the final leg of his roadshow ahead of the company's IPO. While Zuckerberg's roadshow has raised a bunch of concerns and criticism— some aimed at his traditional hoodie — the CEO is busy marking out the next phase of the social networking site's expansion strategy. A big part of this is going to be mobile and how to make money from it.
According to comscore.com Facebook's mobile usage has increased phenomenally with the average user spending nearly seven hours accessing the site via mobile. Currently Facebook does not have ads on its mobile but its clear that FB will be launching ads on mobile very soon. Zuckerberg, told investors in California on Friday, "Integrating online apps more strongly into Facebook is also a major goal."
Facebook had recently announced that it will be launching its own app store, which would make sure that both Android and iPhone users could use the apps on their mobile devices. The app store announcement also sparked off rumours that the future could see a Facebook phone, which will run on an OS developed by Facebook itself. While that sounds a tad far-fetched right now there is no doubt that Facebook's mobile is going to be a key driver of growth for the company.
Facebook's shares, which will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol FB, could begin trading as soon as 18 May. According to sources, the company's IPO is already oversubscribed, and it seeks to raise nearly $10 billion when it goes public.
The recent road-show has proved to be quite tough for the company's young CEO, who has faced a barrage of criticism. One particular point that seemed to irk Wall Street analysts was the CEO's trademark hoodie. In fact analyst Michael Pachter sparked an acrimonious debate online when he remarked that Zuckerberg's hoodie was a sign of immaturity, and that the CEO wasn't respecting the Wall Street investors enough.
In addition to that, Zuckerberg also had to deal with investor questions over Facebook's $1 billion buyout of Instagram. At the time of the deal there were several reports doing the rounds, that Zuckerberg went ahead with the deal without informing any of the other members on board. This is something that he may not be able to pull off again.
Zuckerberg's quirky genius has helped make Facebook what it is. But with the company going public, he won't have an easy run with investors who will be carefully observing his every move.