(Reuters) — Facebook mentioned on Tuesday the coronavirus outbreak was undercutting gross sales of the promoting that accounts for practically all of its income, at the same time as extra customers spend time on the social community throughout virus-related lockdowns.

“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,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Facebook shares fell about 1% after hours following an 8.7% rise in common commerce.

The firm mentioned messaging throughout its platforms had elevated greater than 50% during the last month in lots of the worst-affected international locations. In Italy, particularly, customers have been spending 70% extra time in its apps.

Group calling with three or extra members elevated by over 1,000% in Italy within the final month.

Facebook says coronavirus is impacting advertising sales even as user engagement grows

Facebook declined a request for touch upon exactly which of its markets had been experiencing an hostile enterprise influence or the magnitude of that influence.

The firm’s assertion echoes comparable trade steerage the day earlier than from Twitter, which reported a lift in energetic customers however pulled its first-quarter income outlook and forecast an working loss because of the outbreak.

Many advertisers have pulled advertising and marketing budgets to rein in prices due to virus-related uncertainty. Some are additionally apparently hesitant to promote alongside coronavirus discussions for concern of associating their manufacturers with the delicate subject.

(Reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru, modifying by Sriraj Kalluvila, David Gregorio and Tom Brown.)