Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has argued the social network giant has seen a huge number of improvements across every area of its business.
Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology summit, she looked to challenge the constant criticism from Wall Street a year after the Internet firm’s IPO launch.
Facebook chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said: “When I look back at the last year since we went public, I believe we are unequivocally a much stronger company today than we were on literally any metric I can think of.”
Sandberg pointed to the social networking sites ability to deliver mobile ads, the general level of improvements in measuring the effectiveness of the ads themselves and an ever increasing user engagement as examples of ways in which the firm was now in a better position since the IPO.
At its first ever stockholders meeting earlier in the week, Facebook CEO faced criticism from a number of shareholders over the price of their stock: Since the IPO last year, shares have plummeted by almost 40% of their original value.
Brushing off such concerns, Sandberg added: “I can’t speak to the stock price but I do feel strongly that we are a better positioned, stronger company than we were a year ago.”
With more than 1.1 billion users, Facebook has a lot of potential for social media advertising, and Sandberg’s words coincide with an announcement from the firm it now has more than one million advertisers on the site.
However, Wall Street and many shareholders are concerned over the future of the platform in the face of rivals such as Google+ and what will happen when it is pitted against more and more new apps designed for the key younger age demographics, which make up a vast bulk of Facebook users.
Much like Zuckerberg did at the shareholder meeting though, Sandberg has pointed to mobile ads as a big factor in its future. She emphasised mobile advertising now equated for more than 30% of its overall ad revenue and with the addition of hashtags to the platform too, she is optimistic things can only get better.
Sandberg also said China could prove to be another untapped opportunity for Facebook, although the social networking platform is currently banned over there.
She said: “It’s an ongoing conversation with the government. At the end of the day it’s their choice.”
However, she used Brazil as an example of the success Facebook could achieve, even in the face of severe competition from elsewhere. Pointing to Orkut, which is vastly popular in the country, she added Facebook now had an 80% penenetration of the Internet market there.
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