Mark Zuckerberg-owned platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have faced plenty of problems over the past decade, with one of the most recent occurring in October 2021, when both social media apps and WhatsApp faced outages for more than 24 hours.
Facebook's outage extended to all of the companies apps prompting reports to flood in on the Downdetector site.
In the US alone there were over 123,000 problem reports for Facebook, 98,000 for Instagram, 34,000 for WhatsApp and 9,800 for Facebook Messenger. Most users reported issues accessing the website and apps.
The Facebook outage became the largest outage ever seen on the Downdetector site which gathered more than 10.6 million problem reports worldwide. Over 1.7 million reports were from the US.
As so many of us are completely reliant on social media for communication with friends and family, running businesses, conducting advertising campaigns, and connecting with fans online, these outages can feel like a huge nightmare if we no longer have access to Facebook and Instagram.
Websites that relied on the OAuth protocol to log in to their sites using Facebook login were also impacted and users were unable to log on using this method. It was a huge outage.
As part of its recent Broadband Horrors messaging campaign, researchers from London, UK-based online and telephone comparison and switching service Uswitch studied data from Downdetector to surface how many times some of the worlds most used social and gaming sites have had outage problems this year.
Online forum Reddit topped the UK list with a whopping 180 separate incidents this year. Almost two in three incidents (60%) of them related to issues with the Reddit app.
Instagram had 106 outages in the UK this year – with over half of the outages (55%) relating to its app.
Facebook has experienced 95 outages so far in 2021 – not necessarily related to its app. Almost half (49%) in the UK and 60% in the US related to the Facebook website – the most recent outage happened yesterday, 10th of November.
Of course every website has its hiccups, and even the largest sites experience outages from time to time.
But when your user base covers almost half of the global population, outages affect a significant number of people around the world who depend on these sites for their daily activities, and any outage seems like a step too far for your customers.
Hopefully outages of this magnitude will be firmly consigned to the past.