The biggest social media site in the world, Facebook (FB) had plenty of doubters at the beginning of the year. In particular, the stock struggled under the weight of the fact that it hadn’t been able to match its own IPO price even once since the date of its debut on the NASDAQ. But Facebook is looking like it may now be having a big year, and that the company’s unrelenting focus on trying to increase mobile ad revenue is starting to pay off.
Things have been going well since July, however, and the company is now looking at shares that are up over 55 percent in 2013, to the current trading price of $41.29. As we enter the third trimester of the year, here’s a look back at Equities.com’s coverage of the events of 2013 that have brought Facebook’s shares to where they are now:
The company has been searching for new ways to increase mobile ad revenue all year, and started off this effort from the very beginning of 2013 with the introduction of the beta version of Graph, a mix between search engine and social media.
The latest newsfeed makeover introduced larger images, and different ways of organizing the news feed around specific interests such as music. All of these moves, while presented as improvements to the user experience, were largely interpreted to be in keeping with the quest for more mobile ad dollars.
April 4 & April 5
At an event at company headquarters in Menlo Park, Northern California, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s first attempt at its own smartphone, released through HTC. The “Home” platform was an app, rather than an operating system, and focuses a user’s entire cell-phone experience on their Facebook account.
Mark Zuckerberg announced his entry into politics with the “silicon valley superPAC” called FWD.us, a political action committee whose focus is/was to pressure politicians in Washington D.C. to finally get something done on immigration reform.
Facebook’s Q1 earnings report showed the company in line with expectations, and though investors were happy with the significant increase in mobile ad dollars, there were many who thought the company should actually have made more cash for all their efforts.
The Israeli mobile map software company was obviously easy to situate in the company’s increasing emphasis on its mobile strategy, but it was not entirely clear what purpose Waze would serve, other than being one of the many promising mobile-related tech startups that the company has purchased over the last year.
Just a month previous, it was all but certain that Facebook would acquire Waze, but at the last minute and without much warning, tech giant Google (GOOG) stepped in and snatched up the Israeli company for about $1 billion. The already popular Google Maps is expected to be the beneficiary of this purchase.
With the new smartphone not selling, and users not much interested in having their mobile devices turned over to the “Home” app, Facebook’s first shareholder meeting saw Mark Zuckerberg having to explain the company’s performance on a number of fronts.
The release of Q2 earnings marks the point in 2013 where more investors began to accept the company’s sometimes opaque mobile strategy. Facebook reported huge beats on both top and bottom lines, and showed that their shameless focus on mobile cash was paying off. The stock has been performing well more or less ever since.
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