Social Media Down: Facebook Outage 2021 – What Happened & How To Respond

Oct 7, 2021 | SEO, Social Media Management

Facebook & Instagram have become cornerstone platforms for businesses & brands to digitally advertise and sell. While these platforms offer great marketing value, they come with their own sets of risks which were highlighted in an extreme way earlier this week when both suffered their longest recorded outages.

Fortunately for the businesses and advertisers that depend on Facebook & Instagram, the outage wasn’t nearly as bad as the one in 2019 that impacted all services for over 24 hours. However, this event once again highlighted why a unique online entity via a website can hold tremendous value as the foundation to a business/brand instead of Social Media.

Learn more about what happened earlier this week and how Facebook’s outage impacted other large platforms such as Google & Twitter.

What Happened

Why Was Facebook Down on Monday, October 4?

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down on Monday due to an interruption in communication between company data centers. The interruption is said to be caused by configuration changes on the routers that coordinate traffic between the data centers. This resulted in a DNS (domain name server) fail — this is the naming structure that forms the web’s infrastructure. So, if you were trying to go to facebook.com or instagram.com (or their Mobile Apps), the internet literally won’t know where to find facebook.com.

How did the outage impact Facebook & Instagram in Google Search?

Certain SMBs will use Facebook to rank on Google search, meaning that during this outage these URLs were still ranking on Google but not loading. Are these URLs at risk now of being dropped from Google? While the work to rank well on Google can take some time, their algorithms are more forgiving with website up-time than one might think.

Google’s John Mueller described how a 6-hour outage won’t really impact the site rankings in the long term. He further clarified that Google will wait up to 2 full days before dropping pages from its index due to the pages not being accessible. Google knows sites have outages and gives sites, large and small, time to deal with it.

The Big Winner – Twitter

While mainstream media coverage was looking at social media with a critical lens on Monday due to the outage, it was ironically doing so on one of Facebook’s main competitors in the market – Twitter.

The company’s main account tweeted “hello literally everyone,” garnering 2.4 million “likes” in just four hours.

Twitter is also where Facebook & Instagram began communicating to their users. The outage reinforced some rhetoric surrounding the need to break up Facebook too. Watch below testimony highlights from the Facebook whistleblower, talking about the political & economic priorities as the engine that drove her to make the leak:

Why Having a Website Optimized for Search & Social is Important

For some SMBs social media audiences will still generate huge value. However, taking the additional step to building an optimized website will ensure their ability to be found online despite social media outages. Whether a straightforward Shopify site or something more customized with WordPress & Woocommerce, there are plenty of solutions that effectively marry your social media with the website i.e. Tagging WooCommerce products in Instagram posts to drive traffic to your store and sell products.

When ASTOUNDZ builds websites, we make sure key technical aspects such as canonical URLs, meta tags, and web resources are in place. In addition to building sites, we optimize web page content and off-page entities like Google My Business and business & brand listing websites. This ensures visibility on leading search engines and the ability for users to find you outside of social media.

Looking To Get Even More Out Of Your Social Media And Website?

Have all the basics done and still aren’t seeing the results you’d like? Give us a shout – our team will be glad to audit and go over potential strategies that can get you to where you’d like to be, whether it be social media, web, or both!

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