With increased discussion around various vaccine options, we’re starting to, possibly, see the light at the end of the tunnel in the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s still a long way to go, of course, and many people are still dealing with the immediate, direct impacts of the virus. But as we move into the next phase, planning is starting to shift towards what comes next, and how we re-build and restructure things in the wake of the outbreak.

And this week, Facebook has shared some new insights into how it dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, and the lessons it learned as a result. Over on the Facebook Tech blog, the company has announced a new, four-part series which will look at how it ‘kept the lights on’ at the platform as it dealt with the various impacts of the outbreak.

The series will provide in-depth insights into the challenges it faced, and how it overcame them, step-by-step.

Facebook has also shared some new usage insights, including:

  • By the end of April, the volume of messages sent in Messenger in the hardest-hit regions had risen by 50%, while video calling had doubled
  • In Italy, the volume of group video chats rose by 1,000% in a single month.
  • In June, live video broadcasts from Pages had doubled from the year prior
  • More than a billion minutes of WhatsApp video calls were being made each day at peak

The insights provide some perspective on the scale of the challenges Facebook was confronted with – and all this with limited staffing, due to offices being shut down and people working from home.

The numbers provide a powerful reminder of the reliance people now place on Facebook for connection, and that’s only become more important during the pandemic.

Facebook’s four-part series will look at the various ways in which it addressed each key challenge, culminating in a final session with Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, where Schroepfer will share a meeting with leaders from across the company to further examine their process.

You’ll be able to view the full series here from November 24th. 

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