Until recently, Facebook could feel at times like the virtual equivalent of a sleepy bingo parlor — an outmoded gathering place populated mainly by retirees looking for conversation and cheap fun.

That was before the coronavirus.

Now, stuck inside their homes and isolated from their families and friends, millions of Americans are rediscovering the social network’s virtues. That has lifted usage of Facebook features like messaging and video calls to record levels and powered a surge in traffic for publishers of virus-related news.

As of Thursday, more than half the articles being consumed on Facebook in the United States were related to the coronavirus, according to an internal report obtained by The New York Times. Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites also increased by more than 50 percent last week from the week before, “almost entirely” owing to intense interest in the virus, the report said.

Källa: The Coronavirus Revives Facebook as a News Powerhouse


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