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As Facebook CEO dangles search and mobile, shares rally

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg soothed investors in his first major public appearance since the social networking sites' rocky initial public offering (IPO) in May, breathing life into struggling shares after hinting at new growth areas from mobile to search. Status update

business Updated: Sep 13, 2012 01:57 IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg soothed investors in his first major public appearance since the social networking sites' rocky initial public offering (IPO) in May, breathing life into struggling shares after hinting at new growth areas from mobile to search.

The 28-year-old asked Wall Street to be patient as the company developed new products, addressing issues such as staff morale, and dashing rumours that Facebook may build a smartphone.

The chief executive, who has himself lost billions on paper since Facebook's market debut, admitted to disappointment about his company's crumbling share price, but argued Wall Street has yet to grasp the full potential of its fledgling mobile business. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/9/13_09_Biz7.jpg

His delivery helped drive Facebook shares up more than 3% after hours to above $20, building on a 3.3% gain in regular trade on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg also hinted that the company was "halfway through" a cycle to "retool" and offer new advertising products.

He said he believed search could be a ripe area of growth for Facebook and was working to offer a competitive search product - comments that likely interested executives at Google one of Facebook's top competitors.

"Facebook is uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions people have," he said.

"We have a team working on search."

He emphasised that the company would focus on building Facebook's smartphone application, while conceding that he had erred years ago by using a programming language that slowed the development of Facebook apps for Apple and Android phones.