Practically the whole world was taken by surprise on Monday, October 4th when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced a massive outage. For six hours, all three apps were down, leaving millions of users confused. According to Facebook, the outage was due to an internal problem- not a hack.
The problem occurred approximately around 11:40 am and wasn’t resolved around 6:30 pm. At 12:22 pm Facebook addressed the issue stating “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.” Apparently an update to the platform’s routers that coordinate network traffic were responsible for the chaos.
Facebook has come out of the gate strong saying there was no malicious intent behind the outage and that all user data was protected. The platform also sent out apologies to their users. Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer apologized to users via Twitter: “Facebook services coming back online now – may take some time to get to 100%. To every small and large business, family, and individual(s) who depends on us, I’m sorry.” Social media has become a significant part in any business’s day to day. With such a significant shut down, many companies suffered. Whether it was in terms of sales or customer insight, business owners are worried that this could happen again.
With so much still in question, there is also an important lesson that needs to be addressed. Diversification is key. So many businesses were left stranded on Monday and they didn’t know how to pivot their efforts. It is so key to have multiple ways to connect with customers or bring in business. Never rely on just one resource. Hopefully Facebook won’t experience this kind of outage again, but if they do, are you prepared?