In 2004, Facebook set out on a mission to “bring the world closer together.” Yesterday’s historic outage – which took down the company’s family of apps including Instagram and WhatsApp for over eight hours – shows just how connected we’ve become in the past decade. Few things have the power to affect the entire globe at once, but as the outage clearly demonstrated, social media is unequivocally one of them.
When Facebook’s suite of apps began to malfunction early Tuesday morning, the effect was felt immediately from every corner of the globe. Millions flocked to other social platforms like Twitter and YouTube to figure out just what the heck was going on, and to commiserate with their fellow internet denizens.
In fact, Facebook also turned to Twitter in their official acknowledgement of the problem:
The massive influx of users to Twitter and YouTube shows just how important social media has become to everyday life. The humorous Tweets, Snaps and memes – coming from all different walks of life – reveal a universal anxiety about what happens when we’re suddenly disconnected from each other. The Guardian may have summed with best with their headline “Did you make it through the Facebook outage without calling the police?”
Moments such as these are stark refutations to anyone who still believes social media is a passing phase.
Additionally, social media outages can have a tremendous impact on business (as influencer marketers, we suffered our fair share of headaches yesterday). Millions in advertisements and sponsored content are funneled to sites like Facebook and Instagram every day – social media is no longer the domain of selfies and cat gifs, but hubs where real business gets done.
Yesterday’s outage lasted up to 8 hours for some unfortunate souls, and social media marketers everywhere were united in the struggle.
Lastly, social outages remind us of the importance of relationship management, especially in high stress situations. On days like yesterday, you can bet that brands will have questions. Influencers will have questions. Chances are, you’ll have questions too!
But as influencer marketers, it’s up to you to remain calm and lead the way. Flex those communication muscles and prove why any type of communication business is a fundamentally business of people.
“We had to delay a few posts due to the outage, as a lot of influencers couldn’t even get into their accounts,” said one of our rockstar Account Managers, Evenlina Weary. “But we worked hard to educate our clients on the problem, and we were able to stay flexible through it all.”