Facebook reported a massive increase in use in the countries affected by the Coronavirus, which is most countries, at this point. Last week, the company said that the growth of social media traffic since the arrival of COVID-19 is unprecedented. Mark Zuckerberg published new records of use almost every day.
Traffic without advertising revenue
However, Facebook is immediately eligible for this claim. For the company, the increase in usage does not mean an increase in advertising revenue. Indeed, Facebook added in its statement that it was not investing its services as an increase in participation was observed. In addition, the giant has noticed a decrease in its advertising activity in countries that are taking strict measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The same is on the Internet, where news publishers lose when advertisers block coronavirus-related content in their advertising purchases, along with other social media sites (such as Twitter) and Google that have record traffic. , But without additional advertising revenue.
Before the epidemic, Facebook continued to see revenue increase in the U.S., but its use and participation were decreasing according to various polls and analysts’ estimates. In particular, Edison Research said last year that Facebook had 15 million fewer users than it was in 2017. Most of the defections are due to younger users now using other platforms, including Instagram (which belongs to Facebook) and Snapchat And TikTok.
Facebook wants to restore its coat of arms
Trump’s 2016 elections and the negative noise affected Facebook’s reputation and credibility with the public. A large majority of Americans said, according to the April 2019 survey, that Facebook “wastes our time” (82%), “publishes unjust attacks and rumors” (61%) and “divides us” (57%). Now, with the crisis, as the New York Times wrote, Facebook and other major technology companies at large have an opportunity to “change the story” about their companies and brands. The so-called “techlash”, like much ad spend, has paused. Major technology companies can regain control of the conversation about their brands.
Facebook (and Google) behavior by the end of the crisis will be crucial in determining if they can do it – using a mixture of true empathy, targeted support and smart PR. This combination may be illustrated by Facebook’s $ 100 million Small and Medium Grants program. (Google has just provided the company with $ 800 million in direct and indirect assistance to small and medium businesses.)