How will Facebook develop over time

Accelerated development: Facebook attracts more users in the corona crisis

Menlo Park (dpa) - Facebook is gaining new users at an accelerated rate in the Corona crisis - and the advertising business of the world's largest online network has already stabilized again after a setback in March.

In the first weeks of April, the advertising revenues were at least at the previous year's level, as Facebook announced when presenting the current quarterly figures. At the same time, CFO David Wehner warned that the outlook was unclear and that declines could follow.

On Facebook, 2.6 billion users were active monthly - 100 million more than three months earlier. The online network usually gains around 50 million users every quarter. 1.73 billion users now use Facebook every day.

"The use of our services has increased significantly," said founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg. At least one Facebook product - including Instagram or WhatsApp - was recently accessed by around three billion users a month. Every day it was 2.36 billion.

The big question before the quarterly report, however, was how badly the corona crisis hit Facebook's business. The online network earns its money almost exclusively from advertising. In the current situation, advertising customers are becoming more economical - and for many small and medium-sized companies such as restaurants or service providers there has recently been no leeway or need to place advertising. But Facebook has millions of advertisers of this size. His company's business also depends on its success, admitted Zuckerberg.

The figures for the first quarter turned out to be such that investors let Facebook shares rise by more than ten percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Thanks to the good start to the year, sales increased by 18 percent to $ 17.7 billion. Quarterly earnings doubled to $ 4.9 billion. However, last year’s earnings had been negatively impacted by a $ 3 billion provision in a lawsuit with the US FTC.

Zuckerberg said at the same time that the crisis had strengthened his conviction that high profitability was important. Currently, Facebook will bear the consequences of the pandemic - but in the long term, companies that finance themselves through advertising would have to keep a high return. At the same time, now is the time to invest in the future. Among other things, Facebook wants to be number one in video chats.

In this area, the small provider Zoom had become a surprise climber during the Corona crisis. Zoom made its corporate video conferencing widely available to consumers. The number of daily users rose from 10 million in December to 300 million most recently. These are orders of magnitude at which Facebook also becomes aware. A few days ago the online network went on the counter-offensive with the video chat service Messenger Rooms.

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