Facebook ad business adversely affected by coronavirus

Facebook said that its advertising business had been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic although more people are using the app.

According to the social network’s own data, its messaging had increased more than 50% in the last month, while voice and video calling doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp.

Countries hit hard by the pandemic such as Italy saw time spent on the apps rise 70% while Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in just one week.

Despite the rise in usage, Jay Parikh, VP of Engineering at the company, wrote in a blog post:

“We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

At the same time, he promised that the network would maintain optimal usage as a growing number of people flocked to use the network and its apps. To do so, bit rates had been reduced across certain regions.

“Maintaining stability throughout these spikes in usage is more challenging than usual now that most of our employees are working from home.”

At the same time, Facebook is rolling out features such as the COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook and the World Health Organization’s Health Alert on WhatsApp

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