Thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic, Facebook is experiencing an unprecedented increase in usage across the world, the organization explained in a blog post on Tuesday. Yet much of the use is distributed among private messaging and video calls, services not monetized by the business. As a consequence, the social networking site claims it’s industry is failing when trying to maintain its encrypted and secure connectivity platforms in place.
The blog post, written by analytics boss Alex Schultz and innovation head Jay Parikh, says overall sharing through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has risen by more than 50 percent in hardest hit parts of the globe, including Italy. Video calls to Messenger and WhatsApp have more than increased in the same places, the article notes.
“The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day,” the duo writes. “Maintaining stability throughout these spikes in usage is more challenging than usual now that most of our employees are working from home.”
Schultz and Parikh notice that the increase in usage doesn’t mean profits. Messaging utilities are not monetized, such as the Facebook News Feed or the regular Instagram feed, although digital ad investment is decreasing across the board in countries currently in lockdown to curb COVID-19 spread. And, like all other companies, Facebook is “adversely affected”.
“Much of the increased traffic is happening on our messaging services, but we’ve also seen more people using our feed and stories products to get updates from their family and friends,” the post explains. “At the same time, our business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world. 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.”