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Facebook is Working to Keep its Systems Operating, Seeing Lower Ad Spend Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns



With billions of people on virtual lockdown in their homes, it’ll come as no surprise that Facebook is seeing a massive increase in activity within its apps.

But even so, the actual numbers are significant – according to Facebook, over the last few weeks, it’s seen:

  • Total messaging increases of more than 50%, across both WhatsApp and Messenger
  • An increase of 70% in Messenger group video calls, and more than double the regular demand for video calls in WhatsApp
  • Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites has increased by more than 50% week-on-week

​​On one hand, this is positive news for The Social Network, boosting its all-important engagement stats. But Facebook has also noted that the increased traffic has put increased strain on its network, and that it’s now working hard to keep its systems running amidst unprecedented demand.

As per Facebook:

“During this emergency, we’re doing everything we can to keep our apps fast, stable and reliable. Our services were built to withstand spikes during events such as the Olympics or on New Year’s Eve. However, those happen infrequently, and we have plenty of time to prepare for them. The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day.”

Facebook also notes that staffing shifts, required as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, have reduced its capacity to respond to issues related to traffic increases.

“We are working to keep our apps running smoothly, while also prioritizing features such as our COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook as well as the World Health Organization’s Health Alert on WhatsApp. We’re monitoring usage patterns carefully, making our systems more efficient, and adding capacity as required.”

In other words, you may experience some issues with Facebook’s apps at some stage.

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted the same during his press call last week;


“We’re trying to make sure that we can stay in front of this challenge. Right now, this isn’t a massive outbreak in every country around the world, but if it gets there, then we really need to make sure we’re on top of this from an infrastructure perspective and make sure that we can continue to provide the level of service that people need in a time like this.”

As it works to maintain system uptime, and cater to rising demand, Facebook has also made changes to its service in order to reduce overall network loads, and avoid overloading local bandwidth. Late last week, Facebook joined YouTube in reducing the quality of its video streams from HD to SD by default, a setting which, Facebook says, is now in place in “certain regions”.

And similar to Twitter, Facebook also notes that while it is seeing increased usage, and it’s working harder than ever to maintain its systems, it’s also seeing less demand for its ad products as a result of the various shutdowns and closures.

“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 did, of course, generate more than $70 billion in ad revenue in 2019, so it’s not exactly struggling to maintain its operations. But still, it is interesting to note the broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they’re effecting Facebook and other social platforms.

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On the face of it, you likely equate more usage to more revenue for the social giants, but evidently that’s not the case in this instance.

Hopefully, Facebook is able to maintain its systems and keep everything running, but it is worth noting that, as COVID-19 continues to spread, that may cause issues for your favorite app.

In the midst of the crisis, the key social media platforms have shown, once again, that they now play a critical role in keeping us connected, keeping us informed and keeping us entertained as we need. In some ways, that connectivity has lead to problems, but it’s also helping to keep us together as a society, and to maintain social connection at a time where we need it most.


Facebook, whether you like it or not, is central to this. And as it continues to play a key role in connection, it’s only going to become a more essential service.



Facebook fighting against disinformation: Launch new options



Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has dismantled new malicious networks that used vaccine debates to harass professionals or sow division in some countries, a sign that disinformation about the pandemic, spread for political ends, is on the wane not.

“They insulted doctors, journalists and elected officials, calling them supporters of the Nazis because they were promoting vaccines against the Covid, ensuring that compulsory vaccination would lead to a dictatorship of health,” explained Mike Dvilyanski, director investigations into emerging threats, at a press conference on Wednesday.

He was referring to a network linked to an anti-vaccination movement called “V_V”, which the Californian group accuses of having carried out a campaign of intimidation and mass harassment in Italy and France, against health figures, media and politics.

The authors of this operation coordinated in particular via the Telegram messaging system, where the volunteers had access to lists of people to target and to “training” to avoid automatic detection by Facebook.

Their tactics included leaving comments under victims’ messages rather than posting content, and using slightly changed spellings like “vaxcinati” instead of “vaccinati”, meaning “people vaccinated” in Italian.

The social media giant said it was difficult to assess the reach and impact of the campaign, which took place across different platforms.

This is a “psychological war” against people in favor of vaccines, according to Graphika, a company specializing in the analysis of social networks, which published Wednesday a report on the movement “V_V”, whose name comes from the Italian verb “vivere” (“to live”).

“We have observed what appears to be a sprawling populist movement that combines existing conspiratorial theories with anti-authoritarian narratives, and a torrent of health disinformation,” experts detail.


They estimate that “V_V” brings together some 20,000 supporters, some of whom have taken part in acts of vandalism against hospitals and operations to interfere with vaccinations, by making medical appointments without honoring them, for example.

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Change on Facebook

Facebook announces news that will facilitate your sales and purchases on the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, announced that the parent company would now be called Meta, to better represent all of its activities, from social networks to virtual reality, but the names of the different services will remain unchanged. A month later, Meta is already announcing news for the social network.

The first is the launch of online stores in Facebook groups. A “Shop” tab will appear and will allow members to buy products directly through the group in question.

Other features have been communicated with the aim of facilitating e-commerce within the social network, such as the display of recommendations and a better mention of products or even Live Shopping. At this time, no date has been announced regarding the launch of these new options.

In the light of recent features, the company wants to know the feedback from its users through the survey same like what Tesco doing to get its customers feedback via Tesco Views Survey. However, the company is still about this feedback will announce sooner than later in this regard.

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