Facebook, Insta and Whatsapp Outage Hit Content Creators
October 11, 2021
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by Arabella Seebaluck

Content creators, influencers and small businesses took at hit as social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as the messaging app WhatsApp – owned by Facebook – went down on Monday.

“…the SEV that took down all our services yesterday was the worst outage we’ve had in years. We’ve spent the past 24 hours debriefing how we can strengthen our systems against this kind of failure” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post dated October 6, 2021.

“Being in the social media industry, we had multiple ongoing campaigns, which had to be made live by the end of October 4 on Instagram. With the Instagram app not working, this was a major setback not just for us but for the creators and the brands as well,” Neha Puri, CEO and founder, Vavo Digital in India told the business site moneycontrol.

India has the most users for both Instagram and Facebook. It has 340 million Facebook subscribers according to Statista and is also in the leader board for Instagram. The impact the outage had was on content creators and influencers in the country, but also on brands and businesses as the country enters its festive season, with the popular Dussehra or Navratri and shopping sprees for Diwali on the horizon.

What this means at an individual level

For creators across the globe, the losses were palpable. One user told the BBC that the 6 hours represented 4 videos not being posted, causing a loss of GBP 4000 (USD 5500 approximately) to the creator.

There is no figure attached to how much money content creators could have lost globally. This would simply be difficult to quantify, given the sheer number of users on all three affected platforms combined.

However, there is someone else who suffered directly from this outage and that is Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook man himself. Several media reports have emerged after the infamous failure, reporting on 6 to 7 billion dollars in personal losses for the Facebook founder.

“The stock slide on Monday sent Zuckerberg’s worth down to $120.9 billion, dropping him below Bill Gates to No. 5 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index” the Business Standard reported.

What most analysts agree on is both the October 4 outage and the same days’ whistle-blower testimonial against the social media platform caused this massive drop Zuckerberg’s fortune.

How did the outage happen?

“In a nutshell, Facebook’s systems stopped talking to the wider internet” the BBC explained.

Facebook’s explanation was the following:

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

Cloudfare went into a little more detail: “Their DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were unreachable. It was as if someone had “pulled the cables” from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet.”

And in the future?

Facebook said the following:

“People and businesses around the world rely on us every day to stay connected. We understand the impact that outages like these have on people’s lives, as well as our responsibility to keep people informed about disruptions to our services.”

However, some content creators and influencers have had a true moment of panic and would not like it to happen again. With their share of revenue already being unsatisfactory for the content they provide to platforms which wouldn’t survive without their participation, many of them have begun looking to other means of engaging directly with their audiences.

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