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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg laughs in face of adversity

Jason Oliva

Zuckerberg at South by Southwest in 2008

Zuckerberg says Facebook will return stronger despite falling stock

Facebook has seen its stock plummeting on Wall Street in recent months. Stock has fallen from $38 a share to $19.43 on Tuesday’s closing price.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s holdings have fallen more than $9 billion and he has remained out of public spotlight since the social media giant’s public offering in May.

But now, in a laid-back chat at a tech conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg insists that recent falling trends in Facebook’s stock will not hinder the social networking site’s mission to make the world a “more open and connected place.”

Surrounded by an audience of fellow tech geeks, Zuckerberg emanated an air of informality, showing up wearing a gray t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. The Facebook CEO chuckled and smiled frequently throughout the discussion of his company’s falling stock value, but reassured that the company would figure out a variety of ways to profit from the growing number of its 955 million users who visit Facebook via mobile rather than desktop Web browsers.

A foremost problem in the growing number of Facebook mobile users is that since the app is projected on a smaller platform than it would on a desktop computer, ads are cut out due to the limited amount of screen space.

Zuckerberg even deflected speculation of Facebook producing its own smart phone, as Apple and Google have accomplished in recent years. But although a Facebook smart phone is not in the near future for now, Zuckerberg said that he wanted to intensify Facebook’s rivalry with Google by developing more expansive search methods on its website.

Zuckerberg’s discussion at the San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt, primarily meant to talk possible Facebook defectors down from the roof of leaving the social networking site, must have influenced some. Facebook shares gained 66 cents, a 3.4 percent increase in Tuesday’s trading after the CEO took the stage.

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