PALO ALTO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , 27, who started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room 8 years ago, on Friday, said Facebook’s key priorities in 2012 were to improve its mobile application, to build stronger ties incorporating its social network with other online apps and to create a “transformative” advertising experience.
Facebook aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and valuing it at up to $96 billion – rivaling Amazon.com Inc’s .
Integrating online apps more strongly into Facebook is also a major goal, he told hundreds of investors at an event that capped the first week of Facebook’s cross-country “roadshow” to pitch its highly anticipated initial public offering.
With 900 million users, Facebook is the world’s dominant social network. Zuckerberg was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2010 and was depicted in the fictionalized 2010 movie “The Social Network”.
“Over the next 10 years or so, every consumer category should be transformed to be built around people,” Zuckerberg told fund managers and Silicon Valley glitterati such as Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
The company is “just getting started” with its mobile app, said Zuckerberg, who appeared on stage in a grey T-shirt and dark trousers at Palo Alto’s Crowne Plaza, flanked by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and finance chief David Ebersman.
“It is a bit of a celebrity event,” said Alice Evans with London-based F & C Asset Management. “You’re not expecting to learn that much but it’s as close as you can get to kicking the tires.”
Wall Street had been concerned about the company’s ability to wring revenue from mobile users, considered crucial for long-term growth, as well as slowing growth in Facebook’s main advertising business.
“People will listen to music and watch TV with other people” through Facebook.
“We only recently reached this tipping point,” Zuckerberg said as the audience consumed a lunch of curried chicken salad and chocolate-chip cookies.