Within 48 hours and one mile of San Francisco, the web's most important social network and its best known device both took center stage this week. On Tuesday Mark Zuckerberg gave his first interview since the Facebook IPO. Ad Age provided a good overall summary of the interview which included three major takeaways for marketers. Zuckerberg made it clear that Facebook's future is mobile and that mobile ads are working very well. Mobile's smaller screens don't allow for ads to be segmented in a right hand column, instead they are integrated into the newsfeed and are getting better response. A Business Insider post by Henry Blodget may have further explained the urge to go mobile since desktop usage is declining, particularly within the younger US demographics that are most important to Facebook.
Within mobile, Zuckerberg said the Facebook's efforts to write cross platform apps in HTML5 had been a big mistake, since they were slower and of lower quality than native mobile apps. Three weeks ago Wired reviewed the benefits that Facebook had achieved by going native with its iPhone and iPad apps.
Zuckerberg also said that search was a logical extension for Facebook, that they were already doing a billion searches a day and considered it an opportunity. Search Engine Land considered what an enhanced Facebook search function would look like, a project that their engineers are already working on.
The reaction to the iPhone 5 has been mostly positive but there was no one new feature that presented an obvious and immediate opportunity for web marketers. ZDNet published a need-to-know of the changes and VentureBeat produced short individual videos of key new features. The screen is longer (but not wider so thumbing is still possible in portrait mode) and speed is increased from both the new A6 processor and the 4G LTE connectivity along with an iOS upgrade. So the user experience will be changed, which prompted ClickZ to remind app owners that they have to work to do to make sure that they are optimized for the new iPhone environment.