Is Facebook Getting Its Groove Back?

Finally, the company has been making some positive waves lately

By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer & IPO Playbook Editor

With the launch of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 this week, many tech companies have held back on announcements. But this hasn’t been the case with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Actually, the company has been fairly aggressive with its PR, which has juiced up the stock by nearly 10%.

So is this a sign that Facebook back on track?

Why This Was the Biggest Apple Event EVER
Why This Was the Biggest Apple Event EVER

It all started with Mark Zuckerberg’s interview on Tuesday. As I mentioned in the IPOPlaybook, he pulled off a great performance. He was energized and didn’t avoid any of the questions. In fact, he went into deep dives on many of them.

I also liked how he admitted that he blundered on the mobile opportunity. This was primarily because of a bet on HTML5 technology, which proved to be too lackluster. Zuckerberg took full responsibility for it. As a result, he said Facebook will use native languages when building apps for platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

Zuckerberg said the company continues to be focused on building standout products but also to make sure it can monetize them. It seemed like “monetize” is his new favorite word!

And it’s more than just talk. Just look at today’s news from Facebook. The company says it’s getting lots of traction for its Exchange marketplace, which was launched about three months ago. The platform uses a technique known as retargeting. This means ads that are viewed or clicked on third-party sites will appear on Facebook.

It’s a proven approach that tends to result in improved effectiveness for ad campaigns. For example, TellApart announced that the click-through rates for Exchange were 6.65%, which compares to 6.41% for Google.

All in all, the Exchange is another sign that Facebook is getting serious about making money. Of course, it will still take time, and the next couple quarters could still be rocky. After all, Facebook is still in the midst of a major transition to mobile.But going into next year, Facebook could be poised for some nice growth.

Interestingly enough, it may have been Wall Street’s brutal reaction to the IPO that finally got Zuckerberg focused on finding a balance between creating great products and building strong business models.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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