The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for millions of people around the world. As this global public health crisis progresses, governments impose a lockdown and people exercise social distance to further stem its spread.
In the midst of this crisis, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have witnessed a massive increase in usage. Facebook said on Tuesday that in many of the countries hardest hit by the virus, especially Italy, the total number of messages has increased by more than 50 percent, while voice and video calling on Messenger and WhatsApp has more than doubled in the past month #
According to Facebook, users in Italy spend 70 percent more time on all of its apps. Since the onset of the crisis, messaging has increased by more than 50 percent, while the time spent on group conversations (conversations with three or more participants) has increased by more than 1,000 percent in the past month.
Image credit: Facebook
“Much of the increased traffic is taking place on our messaging services, but we’ve also seen more people use our feed and story products to receive updates from their family and friends,” Facebook said in a blog post.
“Maintaining stability during all of these usage peaks is more challenging than usual, as most of our employees work from home. We carefully monitor usage patterns, make our systems more efficient, and add capacity as needed.”