As COVID-19 began to reshape life, it has been observed that big tech companies have responded to it quite distinctively. Rewinding a few years, they loathed to intervene in such critical issues; however, all of a sudden, massive social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are conspicuously highlighting links to top-tier information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) in their feeds and search results – Google also stepped up to the plate shortly afterward.
So far, big tech companies have fast-tracked their efforts, as they’ve donated millions of dollars to aid the current emergency operations and contributed large stocks of pretentious N95 masks. Also, few sections have been added to their apps, stressing upon the accurate news related to COVID-19.
How Are Big Tech Companies Handling COVID-19?
It is a little too soon to say anything about how big technology companies will seize this opportunity, as their businesses certainly aren’t resistant to economic repercussions; despite one area of benefit – which is recruiting. During the past few years, big tech firms had to compete with thriving startups for proficient computer scientists due to ill-repute and inquiries about the exploitation of power which tarnished the status of the bigger firms. However, tech workers who once chose the dynamic surroundings of small startups might appreciate the safer bet of a big enterprise.
According to a software engineer, who declined to be named, he had rejected a bunch of emails and calls from Facebook’s recruiters in the past few months. Nonetheless, the venture capital firms projected to recede from investing in incipient businesses and above all, the crisis also depicts an opportunity for tech companies to weave themselves more into customers’ lives.
As unemployment skyrockets, Facebook vows to grant $100 million to small businesses while Amazon also stated about hiring 100,000 people.
720,000 face masks are being given to the health workers by Facebook. According to the company, it stockpiled the masks to prepare for wildfires in California. The social network is also sharing aggregated and anonymized smartphone data with researchers and scientists at institutions various institutions to help them study people’s movement and social patterns.
E-commerce giant Amazon is also getting ready to help distribute at-home coronavirus tests in the U.K. The finger-prick tests are introduced to seek for antibodies to the virus to find out if a person has already been infected. This, at the same time, also helps to give officials a clear picture of how many people have been sick, as well as who might be able to re-enter the workforce without a hitch.
Also, Amazon is changing its shopping facilities for items such as books, to get customers to trust it with groceries. According to a former Amazon employee and the founder of CommerceIQ, Guru Hariharan, as more customers use different Amazon services, they may create enduring shifts in buying habits. For the time being, tech giants have perhaps achieved a milestone in public opinion.
Now if we look at tech-giant Apple, it has released a COVID-19 website and an app that asks questions for screening the COVID-19 symptoms and shows the public resources for information on testing and physical distancing. Both endowments were developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the White House’s coronavirus task force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There are chances that perfect response to the COVID-19 crisis could pave the way for a future backlash. Therefore, most of the hindrance with tech companies in the past years has initiated from the fact that they are inevitable. Dependence always leads to resentment; so, the fewer options customers have for tech giants, the more indignant they are expected to become in time. Another possibility is that tech companies will make significant mistakes in handling the crisis which could impede any progress they’ve made so far.
At the end of the day, people are trusting in technology companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple to get them through the next several months to fight against CoronaVirus(COVID-19) and this is the right time for these companies to prove their worth to the consumers.