Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram Crash
August 27, 2018
People often wonder what would happen to the world if the internet crashed globally. Well, there may have just been a glimpse as social media sites crashed worldwide. Instagram, Facebook, and the chat application WhatsApp all bit the dust, leaving millions of users without a way to communicate pictures of their breakfast cereal or send memes to one another.
North American, Australian and European users complained that they were unable to login to their social media accounts during the outage. Some technical issues also passed through India, South America and Asia, although they seemed temporary. The error message read around the world was, “Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. We expect this to be resolved shortly. Please try again in a few minutes.”
Facebook has described the trouble as a simple network issue, something minimal which shouldn’t disrupt long-term use of the platform; however, users are reporting feelings of skepticism due to the past issues Facebook has had lately. The entirety “Facebook blackout” seemed to pass in under two hours for most affected users, bringing back pictures, videos, and messenger for those who missed it.
For those who didn’t realize their Facebook or Instagram accounts had been affected, logging into Twitter may have been a bit of a shock. Without Facebook and Instagram to chat on, tweets became the most popular form of social media for a few hours. Some of the messages and memes being shared are hilarious, with a majority vote of, “oh thank goodness it’s not just me.” Some internet users even admitted to checking with Twitter before the search engine giant, Google, to see if it was an ongoing issue, or something specific to them.
The top trending Twitter hashtag for the day was #FacebookDown, usually followed by some funny quip about missing photos of friend’s babies riding pets to breakfast. Others reacted more seriously, worried about missing social obligations, events, or purchases they wished to make on the social media marketplace.
Problem Timeline and Resolution
Facebook users who were locked out of their accounts began noticing the problem at approximately 4:30-5pm Eastern Standard Time. By 7pm Eastern Standard Time, it appeared that all of Facebook and its sister sites were back online. During this time, some users had intermittent technical issues, while others were completely blocked out for the entirety of the blackout.
Facebook promised to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and while they did follow through, it seems to have left a bad taste in the mouths of some users. Online responses seem upset that Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, with complaints that Facebook was going downhill before, and now it’s taking the picture sharing site down with it. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Instagram should be a separate entity once more and that maybe Twitter is the place to be.
Past Facebook Problems
This all comes on the cusp of a huge stock drop for the social media company and its magnate, Mark Zuckerberg. Due to demons from the past regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and an ongoing negative reputation in the news, Facebook has lost a little money as of late. Of course, the giant of a company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and there are still millions loyal to the brand, but it appears that not all is well in paradise.
Some site users are concerned that this loss of login ability might be the platform slipping as the stress of ongoing legal matters finally takes its toll. Other users are calling this a tiny blip in the long-term goals of the company, and that Facebook will have this issue cleared up and shaken off by January 2019.
Efforts to Increase Revenue and Popularity
Facebook must know they’re in the lesser half of the social media rat race because the company has been making some clear-cut efforts to increase popularity among users and make a little extra cash while they’re at it. Their latest idea is hot on the success of Netflix and Prime video streaming success, offering something called “social video watching”. The premise? Facebook is about to launch into the movie business by giving platform users the ability to watch movies live with friends and family online.
This concept isn’t new as plenty of online movie groups watch and gab together as films play, but this actively connective method will be helpful for families and couples who live apart. Those who go on business a lot, families who live overseas, and even friends who are just too lazy to head out in the snow, will be able to login and watch the same movie at the same time with loved ones. What’s more, just like the way that users can comment and like live streams as they happen, those watching the film will be able to share opinions and chat as the movie plays.
This could potentially be bigger than a way to share with friends and family. It could become a way for online classrooms to share videos and movies together; it could also become a new way for global businesses to cross train employees in different parts of the country or world.
Will Facebooks latest efforts pay off and be enough to counteract bad press and this latest blackout? Facebook supporters will have to watch and see. Most hope the social media star finds a way back to the top in a way that radiates morality and transparency.