Record usage figures propelled by housebound members have done nothing to ease Facebook’s pandemic pain amid fears that the ongoing coronavirus emergency is exacting a heavier toll on the advertising industry as every day goes by.
Since the outbreak began to bite earlier this month Facebook has observed a "weakening" of its lucrative advertising business as brands and firms batten down the hatches along with everyone else, constraining a vital revenue stream for the business.
A principle side effect of the draconian lockdowns now in place throughout much of the world has been a corresponding slump in ad spend, even as total messaging soars by 50% as worried citizens turn to voice and video messaging to keep in touch with friends and family.
In a blog post detailing these profound and unanticipated shifts Facebook wrote: “We have received questions about revenue, so want to provide some context here too: 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.
“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.”
Facebook is far from alone in its quandary with Twitter also observing a marked decline in revenues, leading it to forecast an operating loss for the quarter as it absorbs these declines.