Not surprisingly, Facebook has recently reported a huge spike in worldwide usage since the Coronavirus outbreak at the beginning of 2020, with a company statement stating “The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day.”
The social media giants went on to say that its messaging service had received a total increase of more than 50% across the countries most affected by the virus, whilst voice and video calls had more than doubled across both Messenger and WhatsApp.
The statement though was keen stress that the rise in usage was in no way tied to a corresponding increase in ad revenue: “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.”
This ties in with what has also been reported elsewhere due to advertisers blocking Coronavirus based content across Twitter, Google and other leading news providers.
Of course, the work that Facebook is currently undertaking in response to the virus has gone down extremely well with the vast majority and is helping the company to repair the damage caused directly from the 2016 US elections and, more recently, the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which saw Facebook fined £500,000 for lack of transparency and failing to protect users’ information.
Whilst many companies are being negatively impacted by the Coronavirus, others, including Facebook, are set to hugely benefit during the short and long-term, resulting in the social media giant’s role in the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal becoming a distant memory, with many of us opting to switch back to Facebook in order to keep in touch with our loved ones during this difficult time.