Facebook announced that they are continuously adding new staff despite the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue through the end of 2020. Meanwhile, they also have initiatives in place to help small businesses and media outlets during the health crisis.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, shared in an interview on April 3 how Facebook is looking to extend help amid the global health crisis. It includes its plan to hire new employees, programs to keep small businesses afloat during this pandemic, and financial assistance for news outlets.
Facebook aims to add 10,000 workers by the of the year
Sandberg revealed that Facebook will employ at least 10,000 employees until the end of the year. The response was made following a question about possible layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the COO, the additional 10,0000 workers will be added for its product and engineering teams. She also emphasized the demand for new staff, and that layoffs are impossible to do. She added:
“Our hiring is keeping at a very, very aggressive clip […] we have the responsibility to do that — to keep our own employees.”
Facebook is also looking to add new crews dedicated to monitoring user posts as the pandemic continues to impact people’s emotional health. Zuckerberg explained last month that the initiative is for individuals who show mental health problems like suicide or self-harm.
On the one hand, she did not share whether the newly hired staff would be full-time employees or contractors.
Sandberg shares new initiative for small businesses, $100M bailout for media outlets
Aside from adding new workers, Sandberg said Facebook is rolling out more initiatives to elevate the impact of COVID-19 has caused to small-scale businesses.
One of the programs is gift card selling. Sandberg explained that gift cards would enable small biz owners to generate sales, even when everything is on halt due to city lockdowns. She said, “if you can’t use their services now, you can pay now, give them the cash and do it later.”
The other program, on the one hand, is about fundraising campaigns. The social media giant now allows small biz operators to create a campaign and solicit contributions through Facebook.
The $100 million will be distributed to different media outlets and programs. Reportedly, the $25 million will go to local news organizations while the rest ($75 million) will be used for marketing buys. The COO explained:
“Journalism is hugely important all the time, but it is probably never been more important than it is right now. That means those businesses [media outlets] must be supported.”
Zuckerberg has already pledged a $100 million grant and ad credits last month for small-scale businesses and will begin to accept applications in the U.S. next week.