What do you do when you lose access to social media because of an outage? It’s not just hours of conversations and selfies lost; it’s lost business. For many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and even major companies, social media is a means of conducting business. They reach out to customers loyal and prospective, sell merchandise and services, and create chatter to build their brands. Facebook and Instagram have become important aspects of their marketing. It’s not one-sided; the social media platforms benefit from this, too. The Facebook conglomerate makes money from advertising. As popular as it is, you would think that, after the first couple of times, Facebook would get their act together and fix whatever issues they are having. Yet, for the fifth time in four months, the Facebook family of apps has collectively suffered a major outage. Well, Facebook and Instagram have, with Instagram experiencing the most downtime. The event took place on July 17, just two weeks after the previous reported outage on July 3.
Crash of July 3rd
This crash was not an isolated incident, having affected users across the United States as well as the United Kingdom. Different percentages of users who reported the issues to DownDetector. The problems most reported with Facebook were largely with pictures, being 86 percent overall. The other two most common issues were with the news feed, coming in at thirteen percent, and logging in at eight percent. Likewise with Instagram, 91 percent experienced problems with the refreshing feeds, eight percent had problems with the desktop site, and another nine percent experienced issues logging into their accounts. Also reported were difficulties loading profiles and liking images. This outage affected the other apps owned by Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger, as well. Users of Whatsapp reported problems with sending or receiving messages (66%), connecting to the app (29%), and logging in (4%). Messenger users noted complications with receiving messages (80%), logging in (12%), and connecting to the server (6%). Facebook took to Twitter to let users know that they knew of the issue and repairs were underway. They gave no reason for the crash, unlike the first crash which occurred in March, for which Facebook blamed server configuration changes. The said only that it was not the result of a data breach and apologized for the inconvenience.
Crash of July 17th
DownDetector showed that this too was a widespread major outage, with thousands of frustrated users all over the globe. It is not yet known whether or not it affects the sister app, Messenger; however, it has been reported that users had issues with the server connection (42%), receiving messages (30%), and logging in (27%) on the day of the crash. WhatsApp went completely offline during the crash, though it was not reported to the real-time tracking site. The vast majority of reports regarding Facebook were of total blackouts, coming in at 47 percent. The second-most reported problem was with the function of the news feed, at 29 percent. Log-in issues made up twenty-three percent of those reported. Instagram was rife with feed dilemmas, making up 82 percent of reports. Twelve percent experienced problems with the desktop site, another eight complained of issues with stories, and yet another eight percent had log-in difficulties.
Outraged, users took to Twitter to report the crash and voice their displeasure with the company’s apps. One user even suggested that they ought to throw the app away. The social media platforms have since come back online; although, they do not appear to be back at one hundred percent. Facebook has not responded on this outage on any form of social media as of yet. It is likely that they won’t cite a specific reason for it this time, either.
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