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Coronavirus: Facebook usage doubles but revenue hit, says CEO Zuckerberg

BusinessToday.In     March 26, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that due to the coronavirus pandemic people are spending more time on Facebook and WhatsApp but the revenues of the company has taken a beating. As countries have adopted social distancing measures and work from home culture, usage of Facebook has spiked.

Zuckerberg said that in countries that are hit by the virus, total messaging has increased more than 50 per cent over the last month.

Besides, in such countries, voice and video calling have also more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp. "The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day," Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post.

Zuckerberg disclosed that Italy spent 70 per cent time on Facebook. Instagram and Facebook Live views have also doubled in a week in Italy. The country has been severely hist by the pandemic with cases climbing to 74,386 and a total of 7,503 deaths as of March 26, 9:00 AM (IST).

"We have also seen a messaging increase over 50 per cent and time in group calling (calls with three or more participants) increase by over 1,000 per cent during the last month," Zuckerberg added.

To help alleviate potential network congestion, Zuckerberg said that his team was temporarily reducing bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in certain regions.

However, Zuckerberg clarified, that despite the surge in Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, the company's business has been adversely affected due to the pandemic.

He stated, "We don't monetise many of the services where we're seeing increased engagement". Zuckerberg added that ads businesses has declined in several countries where the government has taken aggressive measures to stem the virus epidemic.

Zuckerberg also claimed that his apps have helped over a billion people access authoritative information and health resources via his Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center and educational pop-ups.

Recently, Facebook Inc donated 720,000 masks, along with 15 lakh pairs of gloves to healthcare workers around the world. The tech company also committed $10 million to the CDC Foundation's Combat Coronavirus Fundraiser.

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