Facebook had a global outage on the 5th of October, Hong Kong time. Naturally, the losers were Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Users could not access Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for six hours. Advertising revenue losses were incurred every minute and second until the outage lasted. Facebook’s share price tumbled, and Zuckerberg lost USD 7 billion on the same day. There were losers, but winners as well. Snapchat users spent 23% more time on the app. Telegram recorded 70 million new users, a record-breaking number of new registrations in a day. It became the most downloaded app in the App Store across 40 different markets and found itself in the top 10 download charts in 35 markets.
The Immediate Service Response Should Be to Address the Situation at Hand
Whether you are an ordinary user or a marketer, you would be considered a winner, so to speak if you weren’t too affected by the outage. As a digital marketing company, Social Stand jumped into action after discovering the outage late in the night. We became busy preparing action plans for our clients to help them know how to respond when they returned to the office the next day. Facebook reported that the global crash was due to DNS issues. DNS is the command that connects the domain and server. Theoretically, it takes about 24 hours to receive a DNS update on a global network. That is, even if things run smoothly, you would have to wait for 24 hours to confirm global online access. Armed with this knowledge, we informed our clients that even if they can access Facebook in Hong Kong on the same day, they should remain vigilant and delay publishing any advertisement or content.
When a Social Media Platform Crashes
Outages on online services are nothing new. Users on their mobile phones that day probably thought it was a problem with their app or Wi-Fi. They only realized that it was an issue with Facebook’s servers after accessing other websites or reading the news. We are a company that provides digital marketing, and we have a more systematic way of finding out the service status on social media platforms. We would not be able to live without server inspection websites, such as the “Down Detector.” It detects and reports outages of web services and affected sections. Besides, we also monitor users’ discussions on Twitter. During the Facebook outage, the hashtag #FacebookDown was trending on many tweets.
Have a Backup Plan for App Login
Everyone was unable to access Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp that day. Most, if not all, marketers have their marketing plans affected. NBC News reported that even Facebook employees could not enter meeting rooms since these were linked via the Internet of Things (IoT). It also made us ponder about many online services using Facebook to log in. If a login page required a Facebook account, the user may not be able to access that particular service during the outage. Some businesses allow users to register and log in with third-party services like Facebook and Google. The experience from this incident should teach us that it would be better to allow users to add direct login methods after linking their accounts.
Forming Telegram and Discord Communities
Facebook and Instagram are not all there is to marketing. Have users provide their email and contact numbers to facilitate a comprehensive omnichannel marketing plan. Facebook and Instagram are convenient tools of social media that help easily reach one’s audience. But remember that they are technically not owned media. Many content creators and media personalities in Hong Kong have used Discord and Telegram to establish their own communities. Have you included these emerging and silently growing platforms in Hong Kong in your digital marketing plan?