Facebook says coronavirus hits advertising sales

Facebook says coronavirus hits advertising sales

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak was undercutting sales of the ads, which account for nearly all of its revenue, even as more users spend time on the social network during virus-related lockdowns.

“We are not monetizing many of the services we see more engagement with, and we are seeing a weakening of our advertising business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement # Facebook shares fell about 1% after hours after a 8.7% increase in regular trading.

The company said reporting on its platforms had increased by more than 50% in many of the hardest-hit countries in the past month. In Italy in particular, users spend 70% more time on their apps. Group conversations with three or more participants have increased by more than 1000% in Italy in the past month.

Facebook declined a request for comment about which of its markets was experiencing detrimental business impact or how large that impact was. The company’s statement reflects similar industry guidance the day before from Twitter Inc, which reported an increase in active users, but pulled first-quarter sales prospects and forecast an operating loss as a result of the outbreak.

Many advertisers have withdrawn marketing budgets to cut costs because of virus insecurity. Some also apparently hesitate to advertise alongside coronavirus discussions for fear of associating their brands with the sensitive topic.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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