This was a tough week for social media. Facebook-owned social media sites had an epic outage that stunned users, who couldn’t access its pages or Instagram or share content on WhatsApp and Messenger.
Twitter won the day because that’s where unhappy users vented their frustration and where Facebook went to update them. Others simply reverted to good old SMS or phone calls. Still others, we can assume, began talking in person to those close to them and otherwise socializing. Perhaps it was a teachable moment, we can only hope.
People feared it was the result of a DDOS, where internet bots attack independent servers with an overwhelming number of requests, packets or messages, thereby denying service to legitimate users such as employees or customers.
Facebook strongly denied this, saying it was the result of a server configuration change but gave no reasons why. The 14-hour blackout is said to be the worst that has hit social media. The last time Facebook was so disrupted was in 2008 when they had a mere 150million users - compared to 2.3billion monthly users today.
The shutdown didn’t affect users alone. Businesses are reported to have lost considerably from the outage. And Facebook lost, well, face.
The memes, of course, made the day. One user said: MySpace, this is your chance to make a comeback. Another post read: 12 hours into Post-Facebook era, dexterity in fingers now match thumbs again. Still another said: Instagram models trying to become viral on twitter after becoming unemployed.
The funny thing though, is that people were asking questions about the outage on Facebook and not understanding why they weren’t getting answers.