A Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp outage lasted several hours on Monday morning, causing significant problems for businesses that rely on these platforms to reach their audience.
This outage is one of many that have plagued Facebook over time. Oftentimes due to bugs and random errors, this can result in thousands (if not millions) of dollars worth of losses for companies and individuals who rely on their social media presence to make money.
One of Facebook's biggest draws is its size. With billions of users, it has a lot to offer brands and advertisers in terms of reach and engagement. But in order for that reach to be effective, marketers need access to their audience—and if these platforms go down for even an hour, they lose out on millions of potential impressions from followers who will miss their posts.
Not surprisingly, those who rely on Facebook's platforms as a main form of revenue suffered as a result of yesterday’s outage. In some cases, those people lost hundreds of dollars worth of advertising time due to having been unable to schedule new posts. For influencers and celebrities who live on their phones and use Whatsapp and Instagram as a primary means of reaching fans and followers, they weren’t able to reach anyone until hours after things had started going haywire. Several took to Twitter and TikTok during downtimes in an effort to reach followers there.
This outage affected brands and influencers alike. Alex Tenney, VP of eCommerce at Skinny Mixes, said that the outage “did take a toll on our ROI for paid advertising because we lost an entire day of leads and revenue that we will have to make up for. The outage caused us to have one of our slowest days for revenue and site traffic.” Facebook being down had major effects beyond being unable to access social media, it reduced sales for brands who use social media to promote their products. Bachelor Nation alumni Jared Haibon described that the outage on Monday, if long-term, had the potential to hurt his ability to market his business. Additionally, influencer Kiarra Norman discussed how social media changed her life and the importance it holds for her brand. When asked how she would feel if these platforms were not recovered she said, “I would be devastated. This has been such a dream job to work for myself, as well as brands I’ve loved for many years, and most importantly being able to connect with people over the world. I’ve made so many friends from Instagram and connected with so many brands that it would be hard to recover as I’m only just now starting up my YouTube channel.”
Businesses and influencers that rely on marketing and social media to advertise could have been in major trouble. If social platforms did not recover, they could go out of business entirely because they can’t attract enough followers or traction without these platforms. This means they cannot gain more customers for their company or keep up with sales, which eventually leads to no sales at all. Depending on how far you are into your industry, it might be difficult for you to find another job or start a new career altogether after being reliant on social platforms for so long. This would also cause problems with the average personal life too since most people are so used to using these apps daily it would be an adjustment period if they no longer existed.
What we learned from this is that many social media platforms rely on each other and oftentimes, they cannot operate without one another. Consider having a presence on multiple platforms, such as TikTok and Twitter as well, so that if there is an issue on one, you still have an alternate outlet to communicate with followers.