Facebook sees activity increase and revenues dwindle as hundreds of millions of people confined to the world because of the coronavirus pandemic spend more time online (AFP / LOIC VENANCE)
Facebook is seeing activity increase and revenue dwindle as the hundreds of millions of people confined to the world because of the coronavirus pandemic spend more time online, the social network said on Tuesday.
“In many countries severely affected by the virus, the volume of messages exchanged has more than doubled in a month,” said Alex Schultz and Jay Parikh, two vice-presidents of the group, in a statement.
The explosion of digital uses also concerns audio and video calls via WhatsApp and Messenger. In Italy, home of the epidemic in Europe, “the time spent in group calls (with 3 or more participants) has jumped by 1,000% in the last month”.
This trend will continue as many other European, American and African countries now apply containment guidelines. More than 2.6 billion people around the world are called to stay at home.
For the dominant global network, this increase in attendance does not turn into an increase in income, on the contrary.
“We do not derive profit from the services that users use more than usual, and we see our advertising activity weakening in countries that are taking drastic measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” said Mr. Schultz and M. Parikh
Not to mention the increased pressure on the servers, and all its teams, from engineers to moderators who work from home to ensure that the apps of the technology giant remain “fast and reliable”, despite the “daily records”.
Like Netflix or YouTube, the platform had to resolve to temporarily reduce the bitrate for videos on Facebook and Instagram in certain regions.
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