Tuesday April 7, 2020
Home Lead Story Facebook&#821...

Facebook’s Business Gets Adversely Affected in Countries Hit By Novel Coronavirus

As countries after countries announce total lockdown, internet usage has exponentially grown in the past few days, forcing tech companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google to lower their video quality to let the services up and running

0
//
facebook
Facebook said during this emergency, it has been doing everything it can to keep its apps fast, stable and reliable. VOA

Facebook has admitted that its ad business has been adversely affected in countries severely hit by the novel coronavirus while non-business engagement like messaging has exploded which is affecting its services like Messenger and WhatsApp.

As countries after countries announce total lockdown, internet usage has exponentially grown in the past few days, forcing tech companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google to lower their video quality to let the services up and running.

“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,” said Alex Schultz, VP of Analytics and Jay Parikh, VP of Engineering, in a statement on Tuesday.

Much of the increased traffic is happening on Facebook’s messaging services. “As the pandemic expands and more people practice physically distancing themselves from one another, this has also meant that many more people are using our apps. On many of the countries hit hardest by the virus, total messaging has increased more than 50% over the last month,” the duo added.

Similarly, in places hit hardest by the virus, voice and video calling have more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp. In Italy, specifically, Facebook has seen up to 70 per cent more time spent across its apps since the crisis arrived in the country. Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in a week.

Facebook
Facebook has admitted that its ad business has been adversely affected in countries severely hit by the novel coronavirus while non-business engagement like messaging has exploded which is affecting its services like Messenger and WhatsApp. Pixabay

“We have also seen messaging increase over 50 per cent and time in group calling (calls with three or more participants) increase by over 1,000 per cent during the last month,” in Italy, Parikh said. Facebook said during this emergency, it has been doing everything it can to keep its 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,” said the social networking giant. The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, it said, adding that Facebook is experiencing new records in usage almost every day.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Pauses All Optional Non-Security Releases For Windows, Server Products

“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,” Parikh informed. (IANS)

Next Story

Find out How Coronavirus Pandemic Has Disrupted Global Food Supplies

Explainer: How Coronavirus Crisis Is Affecting Food Supply

0
coronavirus
People wait in line to buy food amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in downtown Havana, Cuba. VOA

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global food supplies and is causing labor shortages in agriculture worldwide. This is the latest health news.

Are there food shortages?

Panic buying by shoppers cleared supermarket shelves of staples such as pasta and flour as populations worldwide prepared for lockdowns.

Meat and dairy producers as well as fruit and vegetable farmers struggled to shift supplies from restaurants to grocery stores, creating the perception of shortages for consumers.

Retailers and authorities say there are no underlying shortages and supplies of most products have been or will be replenished. Bakery and pasta firms in Europe and North America have increased production.

Please follow NewsGram on Instagram to get updates on the latest news

Food firms say panic purchasing is subsiding as households have stocked up and are adjusting to lockdown routines.

coronavirus
Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a farm near Arvin, California, U.S. VOA

The logistics to get food from the field to the plate, however, are being increasingly affected and point to longer-term problems.

In the short term, lack of air freight and trucker shortages are disrupting deliveries of fresh food.

In the long term, lack of labor is affecting planting and harvesting and could cause shortages and rising prices for staple crops in a throwback to the food crises that shook developing nations a decade ago.

What’s disrupting the food supply?

With many planes grounded and shipping containers hard to find after the initial coronavirus crisis in China, shipments of vegetables from Africa to Europe or fruit from South America to the United States are being disrupted.

A labor shortage could also cause crops to rot in the fields.

As spring starts in Europe, farms are rushing to find enough workers to pick strawberries and asparagus, after border closures prevented the usual flow of foreign laborers. France has called on its own citizens to help offset an estimated shortfall of 200,000 workers.

Please follow NewsGram on Facebook to get updates on the latest news

More wide-scale crop losses are looming in India, where a lockdown has sent masses of workers home, leaving farms and markets short of hands as staple crops like wheat near harvest.

Is food going to cost more?

Wheat futures surged in March to two-month highs, partly because of the spike in demand for bakery and pasta goods, while corn (maize) sank to a 3½-year low as its extensive use in biofuel exposed it to an oil price collapse.

Benchmark Thai white rice prices have already hit their highest level in eight years.

Swings in commodity markets are not necessarily passed on in prices of grocery goods, as food firms typically buy raw materials in advance. A sustained rise in prices will, however, eventually be passed on to consumers.

coronavirus
A farmer feeds iceberg lettuce to his buffalo during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Bhuinj village in Satara district in the western state of Maharashtra, India. VOA

Some poorer countries subsidize food to keep prices stable.

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that a rush to buy by countries that rely on imports of staple foods could fuel global food inflation, despite ample reserves of staple crops.

Fresh produce such as fruit or fish or unprocessed grains such as rice reflect more immediately changes in supply and demand.

Will there be enough food if the crisis lasts?

Analysts say global supplies of the most widely consumed food crops are adequate. Wheat production is projected to be at record levels in the year ahead.

Also Read- Every Hospital in US May Treat COVID-19 Patients: Health Human Service Agency

However, the concentration of exportable supply of some food commodities in a small number of countries and export restrictions by big suppliers concerned about having enough supply at home can make world supply more fragile than headline figures suggest.

Another source of tension in global food supply could be China. There are signs the country is scooping up foreign agricultural supplies as it emerges from its coronavirus shutdown and rebuilds its massive pork industry after a devastating pig disease epidemic. (VOA)