The government’s plan to reopen
Details have emerged of the government’s plans to ease lockdown measures and get people back in work over the coming weeks.
The draft documents, obtained by Buzzfeed News among others, reveal how businesses with more than five employees must produce a written risk assessment of working conditions for their staff if they wish to reopen during the pandemic.
The new measures outline all the criteria businesses must adhere to and include breakdowns for various working environments such as offices, hotels, restaurants, factories, warehouses and shops.
Social media usage up but revenue down
Like many other tech companies, social media businesses are feeling the squeeze from the global pandemic. The Q1 2020 reports from Facebook and Twitter reveal that, while usage and daily active user numbers soar, revenue has slowed.
Twitter usage spiked to 166 million daily users in the first quarter of 2020, as more people flocked to the site to keep up with news on the coronavirus pandemic. However, ad revenue quickly dropped, with March’s earnings 27 per cent down year-on-year.
Likewise, Facebook reported its slowest quarterly growth. However, its results still beat analyst expectations, with revenue rising 18 per cent to £14.28bn.
Amazon reports £60 billion revenue in Q1 2020
By comparison, Amazon’s quarterly earnings report shows no sign of the company slowing down.
The company’s sales were up 26 per cent year-on-year to £60 billion in the first three months of the year, which is equivalent to £26.5 million per hour. These growth figures reflect both the increased demand for people ordering deliveries and the increase in usage on its streaming service, Amazon Prime.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pledged to spend at least £3.2 billion on coronavirus expenses to protect his workforce, including PPE, increased cleaning facilities and changes to processing paths to better allow for social distancing.
Latest Spotify listening habits reveal demand for ‘feel-good’ content
Spotify’s vice president, Marco Bertozzi, has spoken about how listening on the platform has changed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re starting to see a shift in subject matter”, Bertozzi said, as users seek out ‘feel-good’ music and podcasts. “We’re seeing that shift to people listening to different playlists like ‘Throwback Thursday’-type playlists and feel-good environments.”
In the early weeks of the crisis, users did consume a lot of coronavirus-related podcasts, but that has shifted. There is now a larger emphasis on family, light-hearted, comedy content, with Bertozzi adding: “We are encouraging advertisers to work within those positive, feel-good environments.”
Fortnite’s new experimental mode is about partying, not fighting
Epic Games has added a new, violence-free mode to its massively successful game Fortnite, called Party Royale.
The new mode has removed two of its biggest elements from the gameplay: weapons and building. Instead, users will be able to explore a small map packed with things to do and for users to socialise, including fast-food restaurants, dance clubs, a football pitch and a movie theatre.
Days after its launch, the new mode hosted its first live concert with a performance from DJ and producer Diplo.