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How The Coronavirus Is Infecting The Social Media Giants

It is the official's duty to regularly post information about the infection spread, news about the available treatments, alerts and similar. But at the same time, a lot of news is flying around social media networks- as social media has become more effecti

Benzinga · 03/05/2020 14:26

It is the official's duty to regularly post information about the infection spread, news about the available treatments, alerts and similar. But at the same time, a lot of news is flying around social media networks- as social media has become more effective than traditional sources.

So maybe the social media industry is not so affected by the coronavirus, but it is the holder of quite a lot of important information, some trustworthy, and others not so much. WhatsApp, for example, the cross-platform messaging service owned by Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), has a significant number of viral messages on coronavirus concerns. Some are advertising questionable herbal mixtures; others are providing advice from Chinese doctors, etc – the list goes on and on, so Coronavirus has, if anything, peeked up traffic.

Travel Restrictions And Working From Home

Many companies are limiting employees' travels. For example, a Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) employee tested positive for coronavirus in Switzerland, and it made the company expand travel limitations. This was not an isolated decision. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) issued a statement for its employees to cancel all unnecessary domestic and international travel. Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) went further, so along with the unnecessary travel restriction, it asked its employees to work from home when possible.

Canceled Conferences And Postponed Events

Coronavirus impact on social media and tech companies can be further seen in canceled tech conferences. Some are switched to virtual happenings, others are postponed, hopefully not for long, or even canceled, even though they are scheduled in a couple of months.

For example, Facebook has canceled its F8, planned for May 6-8 in California. Google has canceled its I/O conference planned for May 12-14 as well. This was one of its most important developer events. And the list goes on. We are still waiting for Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ: MSFT) decision on the Build event, scheduled for May 19-21 in Seattle, and Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) final call on WWDC, planned for June 3-7.

The Importance Of These Conferences

These main conferences are of great significance for the developers and their communities. These postponements can have serious implications as they might slow down their work for the Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS platforms. Converted to money, the application stores turn tens of billions of dollars of revenues, both for the developers and for the tech giants which control the stores. To get an even better idea, in 2019 alone Apple made gross revenues of $54 billion in its App Store, while Google made $29 billion in its Play store.

Conclusion

There will be effects from the outbreak in the coming quarter(s), so many companies are lowering their expectations. In order to comply with the recommendations from the WHO, many mass events are canceled or are about to be canceled. But at least we can count on social media and tech companies being there to help us get all the information. We just need to know to differentiate truthful news from false ones.

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