Facebook sees strong user growth as coronavirus pandemic creates uncertainty

Facebook Monthly Users

Highlights -

  • A total of 2.6 billion people are using the social network every month, says Facebook.

On Wednesday Facebook's first-quarter revenue and user numbers beat Wall Street's expectations , even as the social media giant warned that the coronovirus epidemic caused "unprecedented uncertainty" for the future of its advertising business is.

Facebook has seen an increase in people using the social network for respiratory disease caused by the virus during lockdowns designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. This company has been given, which is prone to various privacy scams, a chance to show that its services can be used for good.

Facebook said that people are using social networks, but the coronovirus outbreak has slowed down demand for advertising in the last three weeks of the first quarter. The social network saw a decrease in advertisements for travel and auto businesses, which have been a big hit due to people staying home. The company said monthly active users reached 2.6 billion, up 10% from the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expected Facebook to report 2.6 monthly active users. Around 3 billion people used an Facebook app, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

At the same time, Facebook faced challenges created by the outbreak. Facebook's production of consumer hardware products, such as the Oculus virtual reality headset and its portal video chat devices, has been affected by the virus. Coronovirus misinformation also continues to spread on Facebook, forcing the company to make efforts for liberal content that could harm people's health and safety.

In a statement, the company said it feared the performance of its business to be affected by issues beyond its control, including the length of shelter orders, the effectiveness of measures to stimulate the economy, and the value of US dollars Huh.

"I'm very concerned that this health emergency and therefore the economic decline will last longer than people," Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said during a call with analysts. At the same time, he is also concerned that the reopening of some locations will lead to future outbreaks and long-term health and economic impacts.

Facebook reported revenue of $ 17.7 billion from January to March, surpassing $ 17.4 billion in revenue, surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Although Facebook makes the most of its money from advertisements, the social network said other revenues, such as virtual reality headsets, increased 80% to $ 297 million compared to the same period last year.

Facebook earned $ 1.71 per share, down from its estimate of $ 1.75 per share. The company's stock was up more than 10% to $ 214.39 per share after hours of trading.

Facebook said advertising revenue had remained relatively flat in the first three weeks of April, a sign that some analysts say could be a more challenging second quarter for social media companies.

Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarket, said in a statement, "Some countries will be open for business sooner than others and ad spending will start to increase, but other countries will likely be in May and possibly on lockdown. " "Even within countries, such as in the US, businesses will open at different rates, making it difficult for a company like Facebook to regain sales of its advertising."

Double-edged sword
To counter misinformation, Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have interviewed infectious disease experts and politicians via live video. The chats appear on Facebook's Coronavirus Information Center, an online hub that the social network launched in March, directing people to more reliable sources of information.

Nevertheless, misinformation is a major problem for social networks. According to an analysis by NBC, conspiracy theories and hoaxes still thrive in Facebook groups, claiming that coronavirus is caused by 5G. The New York Times also found that there were 486 Facebook communities pushing the 5G conspiracy theory, which government officials believe is linked to the cell tower fire.

Outside of the new products, Facebook is also donating millions of dollars to small businesses and local news organizations. The company is offering businesses $ 100 million in cash grants and advertising credits. It is using thousands of its portal video chat devices in the US and donating to people in hospitals and care homes in the UK.

Facebook is doubling up on video with the release of new features. Last week, the company released a tool called Messenger Room, which lets you video chat with up to 50 people, a move that can help Facebook compete with Zoom and Houseparty.

Zuckerberg said the company still plans to build new products and plans to hire 10,000 people in product and engineering roles this year. People will have new needs and the company has a responsibility to invest in the economic recovery, he said. In April, Facebook said it was investing $5.7 billion in India's Jio Platforms, a large market for the social network and its messaging app WhatsApp.

"I've always believed that in times of economic downturn, the right thing to do is to keep investing and building the future," Zuckerberg said.

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