The tension between the media and technology industries has long been characterized as a fight for users’ attention. The more of it they have, the greater the opportunity to sell new products and services.

The advertising technology giants Facebook Inc. and Google have turned that into a $200 billion-a-year business. Now that millions of people are stuck at home trying to isolate themselves from the coronavirus, there should be greater opportunity to secure their attention. Facebook’s particular vector for securing users’ attention is connecting them with others, and in the era of self-isolation digital connections have become a lifeline.

Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe’s technology, media and communications industries.

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