Every quarter when Facebook reports its earnings, the social network’s No. 2 executive, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, singles out small businesses that advertised on the platform. It’s a reminder that Facebook, like Google, became a global ad powerhouse in large part by catering to small firms—a strategy that now looms as a weakness.
Over the medium term, the two companies are expected to come through any recession better than their smaller rivals, like Twitter or Snap. In the near term, however, as small businesses struggle to deal with the coronavirus-imposed economic crunch, both Facebook and Google are likely to take a hit—perhaps more than TV networks and other media firms.