Facebook Witnesses Global Outage: Here’s What We Know
Facebook and a number of its businesses witnessed global outages for over eight hours yesterday (3rd July 2019), which saw issues with a number of features including logging in, posting, viewing and loading image and video-based content. This certainly isn’t the first time the social media platform has experienced an outage – in fact, one of the biggest happened in March of this year, when both Facebook and Instagram were down for over 14 hours in some cases, leading both apps to become inaccessible.
Between around 1-2pm on the 3rd July 2019, reports began to surface that users of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were experiencing issues. Reports seemed to mostly revolve around issues with images, particularly on Instagram, but there were also cases where people couldn’t log in or access their feeds on Facebook. WhatsApp also appeared to be experiencing connection issues, as well as issues with sending or receiving messages as a result.
Facebook released a statement via Twitter acknowledging the outage, stating that:
We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. We’re sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. #facebookdown
— Facebook (@facebook) July 3, 2019
The issue, while global, did seem to be concentrated more prominently around Europe, the UK and the US. In true social media fashion, those affected by the outage took to other social media platforms such as Twitter to complain about the outage, with some businesses and organisations using it to their advantage:
Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp all being reported as down.
Is it working for you? pic.twitter.com/ksTgXQKZqj
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) July 3, 2019
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) July 3, 2019
— Skullcandy (@skullcandy) July 3, 2019
Around eight hours after their first tweet, Facebook released another confirming the cause of the outage and stating that the issue had been resolved:
Earlier today, some people and businesses experienced trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps and platforms. The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100% for everyone. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.
— Facebook (@facebook) July 4, 2019
They also confirmed the issue to Reuters, stating “During one of our routine maintenance operations, we triggered an issue that is making it difficult for some people to upload or send photos and videos,”
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp operate from shared systems and so a single fault can cause problems across all of their products and applications. To make light of the situation, social media users were pushing Twitters ‘dominance’ in the situation, with businesses once again joining the conversation:
— E! News (@enews) July 3, 2019
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) July 3, 2019
While normal activity seems to have resumed now, it’s yet another show of one of Facebook’s network faults. While having all platforms operating together can make usability seamless when things are going well, one simple fault can often cause issues throughout the entire network.
What We’ve Learned For Next Time
For businesses with a strong social media presence, even just a few hours offline can have an effect on traffic, engagement and profitability. With an outage as long as 8 hours, this can cut out an entire work day, leading to missed opportunities and, for those who communicate with their clients online, reduced engagement.
With this in mind, putting together measures to make the most of the next outage can help you stay ahead. You could:
While it’s difficult to truly prepare for issues like these when it’s impossible to predict the next time things might go down, a little preparation can make a huge difference. For example, ensuring that you have a presence on more than just one network of channels can enable you to remain active if one or more of the platforms go down. This time around, it was Facebook’s network that struggled, but users on Twitter had the opportunity to take full advantage. If Twitter was to go down, you could push your marketing on LinkedIn.
Before you make moves to handle any outages, you need to ensure that it isn’t just an outage for your brand or business. In some cases, there could be issues with your cache or account, so it’s important to keep up to date with the conversation in your industry. Check social media channels, speak to your network, see if anyone else is experiencing the same issues and if you can afford to, wait a little while to see if the outage is a momentary concern.
As we’ve seen previously, social media outages can actually be a valuable opportunity for marketers and businesses. Not only can you utilise the flood of users to other social media channels to your advantage for advertising, but it will also give you the chance to listen to their comments, concerns and learn more about their behaviour. Take a look at your brand mentions, or relevant keywords or hashtags to see what might need immediate action and whether the remaining platforms alone would be enough for your community should the affected channel stay down.
While Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are back up and running, this has shown just how the world handles outages on popular channels. While a lot of businesses flourished by utilising Twitter this time around, there were others that may not have taken to the issue quite as effectively. By preparing a strong social media presence on more than one channel and ensuring you have a backup plan should things go wrong, you can avoid missing out when things go wrong. Our social media experts can help you produce a social media strategy that’s durable and withstands these kinds of issues – get in touch to find out more.