Facebook sees weakening in its ads business, Twitter withdraws guidance due to COVID-19
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FACEBOOK SEEING WEAKENING IN ADS BUSINESS DUE TO COVID-19: Facebook (FB) said in a blog post on March 24 that it has seen a weakening in its ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. "We have received questions about revenue, so want to provide some context here too: Much of the increased traffic is happening on our messaging services, but we've also seen more people using our feed and stories products to get updates from their family and friends," the company said. "At the same time, our business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world. 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. During this emergency, we're doing everything we can to keep our apps fast, stable and reliable. Our services were built to withstand spikes during events such as the Olympics or on New Year's Eve. However, those happen infrequently, and we have plenty of time to prepare for them. The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day. Maintaining stability throughout these spikes in usage is more challenging than usual now that most of our employees are working from home. We are working to keep our apps running smoothly while also prioritizing features such as our COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook as well as the World Health Organization's Health Alert on WhatsApp. We're monitoring usage patterns carefully, making our systems more efficient, and adding capacity as required. To help alleviate potential network congestion, we are temporarily reducing bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in certain regions. Lastly, we're conducting testing and further preparing so we can quickly respond to any problems that might arise with our services."
TWITTER WITHDRAWS Q1 GUIDANCE DUE TO COVID-19: Twitter (TWTR) announced on March 23 that the company is withdrawing its revenue and operating income guidance for the first quarter of 2020, as well as its outlook for expenses, stock-based compensation, headcount, and capital expenditures for the full year due to the growing impact of COVID-19 on the global operating and economic environment and their effect on advertiser demand. While the near-term financial impact of this pandemic is rapidly evolving and difficult to measure, based on current visibility, the company expects Q1 revenue to be down slightly on a year-over-year basis. Twitter also expects to incur a GAAP operating loss, as reduced expenses resulting from COVID-19 disruption are unlikely to fully offset the revenue impact of the pandemic in Q1. Global conversation about COVID-19 as well as ongoing product improvements are driving strength in total monetizable DAU (mDAU), with quarter-to-date average total mDAU reaching approximately 164 million, up 23% from 134 million in Q1 2019 and up 8% from 152 million in Q4 2019. "Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation, and in these trying times our work has never been more critical. We're seeing a meaningful increase in people using Twitter, and our teams are demonstrating incredible resilience adapting to this unprecedented environment," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter's Chief Executive Officer. "We'll continue to navigate this environment focusing on supporting our employees, customers, and partners, while strengthening our service for everyone around the world and adjusting to a new operating and economic environment."
T-MOBILE USERS GETTING 2 FREE MONTHS OF YOUTUBE PREMIUM: On March 23, T-Mobile (TMUS) and YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) announced that they are joining forces to give Un-carrier customers two months of free YouTube Premium through T-Mobile Tuesdays starting on March 24. “And now to help customers gain new skills, T-Mobile Tuesdays will offer a free four-week course from global ed tech Shaw Academy. With YouTube Premium, you can watch videos ad-free, download your favorites to view offline and play videos in the background while using other apps. You'll also get access to the music streaming service, YouTube Music Premium, so you can enjoy ad-free music in the background, download songs and create playlists. To redeem your free two-month trial, save the offer by April 21 and redeem it by May 1. After two months, you'll be charged $11.99/month unless you cancel.”