Google and YouTube are disappointing as they emerge from the pandemic - Companies

Google and YouTube are disappointing as they emerge from the pandemic – Companies

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, published net profit on Tuesday, falling and below market expectations, at 16.44 billion dollars for the first quarter, 8% less than a year ago, when the online advertising giant had had an exceptional quarter thanks to the pandemic.

At 68 billion dollars, its turnover jumped 23% over one year, but is also slightly lower than analysts’ forecasts.

YouTube, especially, seems to have made little progress in a year. Ads on the video platform generated “only” $6.9 billion in the first quarter, not much more than last year’s $6 billion.

Competing from the ultra-popular TikTok platform, YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, a very short format (less than 60 seconds). These videos now generate “more than 30 billion daily views, four times more than a year ago”, welcomed Sundar Pichai, the leader of Alphabet.

The boss also assured that, despite the resumption of activities suspended during the pandemic, “the time spent on YouTube has continued to increase”.

Ruth Porat, the group’s chief financial officer, also acknowledged that Google’s level of growth in 2021 had benefited from the comparison with 2020. The return to a more normal context is now working against it. She said the comparison would be even “harder” for the current quarter, a period also affected by the closure of its commercial activities in Russia, linked to the war in Ukraine.

Alphabet has also recruited with a vengeance: it now has nearly 164,000 employees worldwide, compared to 140,000 a year ago.

At 68 billion dollars, its turnover jumped 23% over one year, but is also slightly lower than analysts’ forecasts. YouTube, especially, seems to have made little progress in a year. Ads on the video platform generated “only” $6.9 billion in the first quarter, not much more than last year’s $6 billion. Competing from the ultra-popular TikTok platform, YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, a very short format (less than 60 seconds). These videos now generate “more than 30 billion daily views, four times more than a year ago”, welcomed Sundar Pichai, the leader of Alphabet. The boss also assured that, despite the resumption of activities suspended during the pandemic, “the time spent on YouTube has continued to increase”. Ruth Porat, the group’s chief financial officer, also acknowledged that Google’s level of growth in 2021 had benefited from the comparison with 2020. The return to a more normal context is now working against it. She said the comparison would be even “harder” for the current quarter, a period also affected by the closure of its commercial activities in Russia, linked to the war in Ukraine. Alphabet has also recruited with a vengeance: it now has nearly 164,000 employees worldwide, compared to 140,000 a year ago.

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