Facebook seeing weakening in ads business in countries hit by COVID-19

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a ‘Conversation on Free Expression” in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Despite an increase in engagement on its some of its platforms “in places hit hardest by the virus,” Facebook says it’s seeing a weakening in its ads business in countries taking actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

“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,” the company said in a blog post. 

“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.”

Facebook’s announcement comes one day after Twitter withdrew its revenue and profit forecast for the first quarter as well as its outlook on costs for the full year, citing the potential impact of the spreading coronavirus on advertiser demand. Twitter’s usage is up, but uncertainty surrounding the severity of the economic impact of the pandemic will be likely to weigh on ad budgets.

Facebook stock dropped less than 1% after hours on the news, after rising more than 8% during a record day for market gains.

This story is developing — check back for updates. 

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