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Facebook's Biggest Problem: Mobile

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Reading The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal this past weekend, you would have thought that the biggest issue facing Facebook (FB - Get Report) is whether it should stay listed on Nasdaq or move to the New York Stock Exchange.

This issue is a total sideshow, and I would fear for the company if CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spending any time thinking about it.

No, the big issue dogging Facebook these days is the shift to mobile from the desktop.

Many speculate this shift happened much faster in the second quarter than anyone had expected, and that it was responsible for the reduced guidance in the days before Facebook's initial public offering that spooked big institutional investors and hammered the stock.

We'll find out how true that is later this month when Facebook has its first earnings call as a public company. It will be whatever the equivalent of "Must See TV" is for corporate conference calls.

There's already good evidence piling up that the rapid shift to mobile from desktop is happening at "blazing fast" speeds.

The biggest evidence seems to be coming from Facebook itself. The company keeps providing "tips" to various newspapers and tech blogs that it really has a fix on this problem.


It started last week. Facebook invited The New York Times' tech blogger Nick Bilton to witness the next version of the company's mobile app, which will be available sometime this summer.

Bilton discusses how -- despite being one of the most popular apps in Apple's (AAPL) App Store -- the current app's slow speed is maddening most users.

Bilton explains that the reason for this is that the app heavily relies on HTML5. The new one is built in "Objective-C." The takeaway for readers and Facebook mobile users is: Don't worry -- we've got a bead on this.

Today, I read a fascinating piece by Mike Isaac in All Things D where various Facebook folks articulate to him how well-thought-out their mobile strategy is. This all comes straight from the top apparently (when doesn't it at Facebook?). There are all kinds of assurances that well-qualified people have stepped into the gap left by the departing CTO.
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