As the world’s population is forced into unemployment and house arrest, with nothing better to do, Facebook’s traffic is up 50 percent. Therefore, it is only natural the company’s founder would want to see that continue.
As more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs and forced into what is essentially “house arrest” within the last two months, one of the world’s richest men, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, sees no reason to end the confinement of a significant portion of the world’s population.
And, why should he?
“While there are massive societal costs from the current shelter in place restrictions, I worry that reopening certain places too quickly, before infection rates have been reduced to very minimal levels, will almost guarantee future outbreaks and even worse economic outcomes,” Zuckerberg said on an earnings call. “I am very concerned that this health emergency and therefore the economic fallout will last longer than people are currently anticipating.”
But for his business, Zuckerberg sees opportunities to grow. On a call with analysts, he said he believes that times of economic downturn are a time to invest.
“During a period like this, there are a lot of new things that need to get built,” he added. “I think it’s important that, rather than slamming on the brakes now, as a lot of companies may, it is important to keep building for the new needs people have and … make up for the stuff that other companies will pull back.”
He noted that Facebook had just launched a videoconference app, Messenger Rooms, that would be a competitor to Houseparty and Zoom. Zuckerberg said the company expects to lose profit in the year ahead but emphasized the social network’s strength. Executives have announced that Facebook will hire 10,000 workers this year, a potential strategic advantage to poach the best talent as smaller tech firms lay workers off.
“Social media usage has ramped up significantly during the lockdowns, with Facebook reporting ‘unprecedented increase in the consumption of news articles’ specifically,” reported SocialMediaToday.com on Wednesday. “Overall US traffic from Facebook to other websites has also risen by more than 50%, as people seek updates and insights.”
While some billionaires are profiting from the coronavirus lockdowns that are financially devastating millions of people, Elon Musk has taken a more contrarian view.
“To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist,” Musk stated. “This is not democratic, this is not freedom, give people back their god damn freedom.”