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SAN FRANCISCO – AFP: The global economy is in a state of paralysis due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, with a dangerous rise in deflation rates and dwindling advertising revenue, but technology giants led by Google, Facebook and Amazon are achieving record utilization rates that prepare them With a bright future.
Between Tuesday and Thursday of this week, these groups, like Apple and Microsoft, will publish their financial results for the first three months of the year, which were marked by the global changes resulting from the Corona epidemic and the economic crisis caused by it.
However, the services affiliated with Facebook, the world’s leading social network, are very popular, as the number of contacts registered through the WhatsApp and Messenger applications doubled a month ago to record levels similar to those recorded during New Year’s celebrations, which usually constitute the annual peak. .
The number of connections via the Microsoft video conferencing service, TIMS, increased by 1,000 percent.
With the unemployment rate soaring, Amazon created 175,000 additional jobs in the United States to cope with the massive increase in online orders since the introduction of the principle of social divergence.
As for “Google” and “Apple” will launch new tools, digital or real, among them providing basic services such as tracking human communication to combat the outbreak of the Corona virus.
With domestic quarantine measures, e-commerce services on Amazon attracted many users, even those who were not interested in these activities. And elderly people started using video games. Even opponents of social networks have had to use them forcibly, in the absence of other options available to them to communicate with friends.
The children imitate their parents, all on their screen, while working from home. Many families have re-subscribed to Netflix to broadcast films.
However, the scene among major technology companies is not entirely rosy … advertising, which is the backbone of the war at Google and Facebook, is one of the first budgets to shrink in light of the difficulties faced by companies.
Digital companies must provide essential service with dwindling resources. Company employees work from their homes or even warehouses that are difficult to protect from the virus.
There is a delay in the production of electronic devices (such as smartphones) and the contents dedicated to streaming platforms (such as series and video games).
The groups have successively announced a reduction or withdrawal of financial forecasts for 2020.
“The first quarter numbers will not reflect what is really happening,” said Bob O’Donnell of Tech Analysis Research, noting that “the problems did not begin until March.” The real question revolves around demand during the second quarter. ”
In an indication that good numbers are not always a good sign, Netflix announced this week record numbers for new subscriptions, with great caution and stress that foggy damage is expected in the rest of the year.
And those who benefit from home quarantine measures caution to give the impression of benefiting from the health crisis, especially in light of the difficulty of monitoring long-lived habits and those that will disappear quickly with the end of the crisis.
“Until now, these platforms have been providing service like Zoom,” says Carolina Milanese, of Creative Strategies. But when we come back we can visit friends for dinner, we’ll stop spending time with video conferencing. It will not be without a price. ”
However, there is no concern for the future of major technology companies. “The whole sector related to ads will suffer, but it has enough inventory to resist,” explains David Seidbautom, an analyst at Futuresource.
Regardless of the crisis, these groups adopt an offensive strategy.
Apple launched its new music service, Apple Music, in 52 new countries, with 6 months free for new subscribers. Google also made its Stadia video game service available on the cloud for free for two months.
Facebook also launched an application for video games in direct competition with the “Twitch” owned by “Amazon” or “Mixer” of “Microsoft”, as well as a new video communication platform called “Messenger Rooms” that allows “diving” by default in the living room Friends, to be a rival to Zoom.
The groups compete with each other on the level of social responsibility, with the publication of data on the protection of their employees and efforts to combat false news related to the epidemic of Corona and its donations to charitable organizations.
Google and Apple, the two most widely used operating systems on mobile devices in the world, go as far as proposing an unprecedented coalition to provide digital tracking to individuals who come close to living with HIV.
“This is amazing,” says Bob O’Donnell. It could have a decisive impact on the entire planet. This shows its ability and influence, as no government in the world can influence this number of people at the same time. ”