What’s the shortest horror story in the digital world?

#FacebookDown

Mid-day on October 4th, 2021 the world of social media was plagued with terrible news: “Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, were inaccessible for hours on Monday.” – New York Times

As Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp were out for hours, the entire vital communications were brought to a standstill, unveiling the blatant truth that the world has become significantly dependent on these platforms. Users started reporting error messages on all these apps around 11.40 am Eastern Time, Monday, October 4th, leading to a complete outage within minutes. It was only until five hours that they began flickering back to life, while still asking for more time to stabilize.

The impact of this Facebook and Instagram outage was significantly far-reaching and two-fold. Forbes declared it devastating news for Mark Zuckerberg, pulling down his fortunes by $5.9 billion and his position from the world’s richest person to the world’s sixth-richest person, in a single day. The company’s shares fell by a whopping 4.8%.

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So, what actually caused all these apps to disappear from the internet altogether?

The DNS names for the Facebook family apps stopped resolving, making their infrastructure IPs unreachable. Let’s not get into the technicalities.

And what was the result?

People starting looking for alternatives. ‘Twitter appeared to embrace its moment in the spotlight’ – New York Times - as the users flocked to Twitter for routine communications and for venting out on the outage. #DeleteFacebook started trending on Twitter when Facebook only apologized for the problem and gave no other explanation. Many others traded jokes and memes and swapped rumors about the outage.

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What about the live streaming community?

Live streamers exploited other social media platforms and stayed ahead of the competitive game. So, while the entire social media world was crippling and mourning the outage of Facebook and sister apps, live streamers were creating and sharing valuable content on several other platforms including Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Trovo, Vimeo, Socio, ViewStub, Wowza, and Twitter.

Lessons Learnt

We have three valuable lessons to learn from the Facebook outage of October 4th.

#1 Never put all your eggs into one basket

Instead of relying on one platform for streaming your content, it is better to multistream your video broadcasts to more than one social media platform at once. So, when one is down, you don’t lose upon your audience on another. When Facebook and Instagram, the two popular live streaming destinations, were down yesterday, live streamers enjoyed a seamless streaming experience on other social platforms. Their business was not hurt. Their audience didn’t miss out on anything.

#2 Use Advanced Scheduling to stay proactive

Schedule your streams in advance on multiple platforms to avoid any hassle when any of them crashes. So, yesterday, when users’ advanced scheduled streams failed on Facebook and Instagram, they still went live on Twitch, Twitter, and many others. Whether it is a real-time stream or a pre-recorded one, OneStreams’s Advanced Scheduling feature allows you to schedule your streams well in advance to stay atop of any unforeseen crashes.

#3 Go with the flow and enjoy the music

As they say, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. When things get out of control and you can’t really do much about it, go with the flow and enjoy the music, just like OneStream and McDonald’s did!


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