AS MANY PEOPLE around the world start to stay at home and practice social distancing-online activity has soared forcing many tech companies to re-evaluate their strategies.

YouTube has switched to Standard Definition in Europe by default while Facebook is introducing new measures resulting from a spike in usage.

Most of Facebook employees are now working from home.

The company wrote, “To help alleviate potential network congestion, we are temporarily reducing bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in certain regions. Lastly, we’re conducting testing and further preparing so we can quickly respond to any problems that might arise with our services.”

The crisis that Covid19 has brought is testing Facebook ability to keep the apps stable and reliable. Facebook assured users that it has services built to withstand any spikes despite what it described as an unprecedented growth in usage across the industry, with new record usage every day.

Facebook noted that, in countries hard hit by the virus-total messaging has risen by 50% over the last month with voice and video calling having more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp.

Italy-one of the hardest hit countries in the world with death toll reaching over 6, 820 as of yesterday-has 70% more of time spent across Facebook apps since the pandemic was noticed in the country. Facebook Live views and Instagram doubled in a week.

On stating the magnitude of the problem, Facebook stated, “…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.”

 

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