On Wednesday, Facebook said it experienced a “significant reduction” in the demand for advertising, as well as a related decline in the pricing of ads, during the final three weeks of the quarter ending in March. The announcement comes as businesses around the world are forced to tighten their budgets or shutter entirely because of the pandemic.
Even so, Facebook posted $17.7 billion in revenue for the first three months of the year, an 18% increase from the same period a year ago. And while the advertising market may be rocky, usage is high. The company said it experienced “increased engagement as people around the world sheltered in place and used our products to connect with the people and organizations they care about.”
Facebook now has 1.73 billion daily active users and 2.6 billion monthly active users, a year-over-year increase of 11% and 10%, respectively. It also said 2.99 billion people now use its “family of apps” each month, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
Shares of Facebook jumped 10% in after-hours trading following the earnings report.
But as the broader market struggles, investors still seem upbeat about big tech and its relatively strong position to survive the pandemic given their market dominance, strong cash positions and consumers’ growing reliance on online services while stuck inside their homes.
Due to “increasing uncertainty” in its business outlook, Facebook is not giving investors revenue guidance for the coming quarter or full year.
On a call with investors, Zuckerberg also cautioned against reopening too soon.
“I worry that reopening certain places too quickly before infection rates have been reduced will almost guarantee future outbreaks and worse future economic and health outcomes,” he said.