David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns might have all of us on social media more than ever, but business isn’t exactly booming for Facebook.
In fact, the. COVID-19 pandemic is actually having an adverse affect on revenue, Facebook revealed in a blog post on Tuesday.
“[…] [O]ur business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world,” said the social media giant. “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.”
[Read: Facebook brings dark mode redesign to “the majority” of desktop users]
Increased engagement is right: Facebook says the total amount of messages sent via its platforms (Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) increased more than 50% over the last month in many countries hit hardest by the virus.
Voice and video calling also reportedly more than doubled on WhatsApp and Messenger.
Italy, one of Europe’s COVID-19 epicentres, has seen 70% more time spent on Facebook’s apps since the crisis started there, with Instagram and Live views doubling in a single week.
Time in group calls (ones with three or more participants) also rose by 1,000% in the past month.
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