During its outage, Facebook turns to Twitter to share updates

For most of the globe Wednesday, the social media company was powered down, including its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp. The company opted for tweets to address user concerns.

Facebook outage

Facebook Website

Even for Facebook, Twitter is an important channel for live updates in a crisis.

The social media company suffered a global outage on Wednesday, affecting users on its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms. Users shared their consternation that their favorite social media platform was unavailable:

The outage forced many to get creative and join other networks:

Even Facebook turned to Twitter to get messages out to its consumers:

Instagram stayed true to its branding with a little visual flair:

Other product lines stuck with simple text:

The outage was a big headache for the social media company, which has been trying to turn the page on a massive data-use scandal and political fallout from the 2016 election.

CNN reported:

The lengthy disruption is likely to upset advertisers that spend large amounts of money to reach potential customers on Facebook platforms. The company’s flagship social network has more than 2.3 billion users, and Instagram has more than 1 billion.

People went on Twitter to vent their frustration about the problems. The hashtag #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown were trending on Twitter for much of the day.

People used the tags to post memes about the outage, speculate about its cause and trade tips for how to survive without the company’s apps. Twitter even made the subject into a Twitter Moment.

It also has people asking whether Facebook has too much power, which dovetails with investigations into the company’s business practices.

CNBC reported:

Facebook is facing a criminal probe into data-sharing deals it arranged with at least two other technology companies, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

At least two companies that make smartphones and other devices have received subpoenas from a New York grand jury related to how they used Facebook user data that they received under deals with the social networking company. The companies were not named in the report.

These deals, which have mostly been discontinued, allowed people to access their Facebook accounts, or specific Facebook features, on platforms from other companies, including Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones.

In exchange, the platform providers got data about the users necessary to make these functions work. However, users did not always know the extent of the information collected and shared, according to the Times.

The outage helped rival networks draw users who needed immediate communication solutions.

The Verge reported:

Three million new users have signed up to Telegram over the past 24 hours, during a period in which Facebook (and Facebook Messenger), Instagram, and WhatsApp were all experiencing significant outages worldwide. The new users were announced by Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov on his personal Telegram channel. It’s a big number for a service boasting 200 million active users as of March 2018.

Telegram is a free encrypted messaging service similar to WhatsApp, and currently runs on user donations rather than the targeted ads model used by Facebook — which is enabled by the data it collects from its users. Telegram has always emphasized protecting its user’s privacy as one of its key features, and added end-to-end encryption support back in 2013, three years before WhatsApp.

Some found the Facebook outage humorous:

However, many users noted during the outage just how much they rely on Facebook’s channels for business and communications. For communicators looking to reach their audiences, the outage was no laughing matter:

Perhaps it’s time to evaluate how you can reach your audience without any of these powerful social media tools. They might not always be there when you need them.

How did you cope with the Facebook and Instagram outage, PR Daily readers?

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