Facebook video calls soar 1,000% during Italy’s lockdown

A man closes the shutter of a supermarket with an Italian Tricolor flag in Rome, Italy. EPA-EFE/Riccardo Antimiani

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Facebook has seen usage across its platforms surge in countries that have brought in virus lockdowns.

Italy – with some of the toughest restrictions – has seen the biggest rise, with group video calls rocketing by more than 1,000% in the last month.

The social media giant said total messaging traffic on all its platforms had increased 50% on average across the hardest hit countries.

Facebook owns Instagram along with popular messaging app WhatsApp.

But the company said the higher usage won’t protect it from expected falls in digital advertising across the world.

“We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement,” Facebook wrote in a post on Tuesday.

Along with the huge rise in group video calls, the country has seen a 70% rise in time spent on Facebook-owned apps.

Facebook outlined steps it is taking to increase capacity during the heightened traffic as people are stuck indoors and working from home.

“We’re monitoring usage patterns carefully, making our systems more efficient, and adding capacity as required,” the post from Alex Schultz, vice president of analytics, and Jay Parikh, vice president of engineering wrote.

Read more via BBC

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