As the coronavirus spread around the world and people everywhere were ordered to stay home, phone calls over Facebook’s apps more than doubled. In many countries, messaging on Instagram and Facebook soared by over 50 percent, while group calls in Italy jumped by more than 1,000 percent. And hungry for information, people clicked repeatedly on virus news stories shown by the social network.
Inside Facebook, that meant the pressure was on.
“We’re just trying to keep the lights on over here,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said in an interview last week.