- On Monday, Facebook experienced a mass outage that rendered its apps unusable for over five hours.
- Social media influencers, who rely on Instagram and Facebook for income, were notably impacted.
- Some said they enjoyed their time off while others said the outage posed a serious threat to her earnings.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On Monday, Facebook’s apps, which include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, experienced an outage for around six hours. In a blogpost late yesterday, Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s VP of infrastructure, informed users that “configuration changes” on the company’s routers were to blame.
The outage affected Facebook’s 80 million users – prominent among them social media influencers, who rely heavily on apps like Instagram and Facebook to not only connect with their followers, but also for their income. For some influencers, the outage hurt their bottom line. But for others, it was a welcomed snow-day from online life.
Brittany DiCapua, a 28-year-old Instagram food influencer and blogger, said that she realized the site was down around 11:30 a.m. on Monday morning. At first, she thought it was just her account, but after texting other influencers, she realized that it was a widespread issue. “Some of us were joking that it was a ‘day off’ for us,” DiCapua said. “It kind of felt like a break to not live and breathe on social media.”
DiCapua wasn’t initially bothered by the outage, because Instagram and Facebook have been down for short periods of time in the past. However, she became more concerned when it spanned for more than an hour. “For a minute I thought, ‘What if these platforms actually don’t come back?'” DiCapua said. “It reminded me that social media could be gone in a day, and so many of us make our livelihoods from it.”
For most Instagram influencers, including DiCapua, revenue largely stems from advertisements and brand deals. DiCapua speculates that she could have lost $US2,000 ($AU2,743) to $US4,000 ($AU5,486) if she had planned content for the day. In the past, DiCapua has worked with brands like Amazon, Bud Light, and Lexus. “If it was national fry day, it would have been different,” she said. Other influencers like Tori Mistick weren’t as lucky. Mistick, an influencer in the pet space, had sponsored posts due on Monday. “The outage pushed back other collaborations and partnerships I have planned for the month,” Mistick said. “I can’t get paid unless I publish content for a sponsored campaign, so a shutdown like this has the potential to delay thousands of dollars of income for me.”
On Monday evening, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messengers slowly came back online, although many users initially had trouble accessing some of the app’s functionalities. During the downtime, DiCapua spent the day making content on TikTok and planning future posts when Instagram finally returned. “TikTok isn’t owned by Facebook, so I figured that I could still interact with people there,” DiCapua said. “It gave me the opportunity to cover all my social media bases.”Although she was relieved when Instagram came back online, Mistick said her engagement has been lower today. “Instagram does appear to still be buggy today,” she said. To make matters worse, Mistick says her content output has also been affected. “Now I have to post more content than usual in a tighter frame, which may impact my reach and engagement.”