Recently updated on August 8th, 2022

On October 4, 2021, social media titans Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced an outage that rendered all three platforms inaccessible for nearly six hours. Facebook issued an apology on Monday as network engineers scrambled to manually restore their servers. While an extreme example, this unfortunate occurrence proves how important it is to have a capable IT service provider on your side.

What Caused the Facebook Outage?

So, what was the root cause of the multi-billion dollar crash? Turns out, the answer is simpler – and more shocking – than you might think. A routine IT maintenance mistake was what disconnected Facebook’s datacenters from the internet.

The core connection between data centers shut down during regular IT maintenance. The shutdown affected the Domain Name System (DNS) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) information – a failure that wiped its DNS routing information clean. With no DNS information, networks, servers, browsers, and people around the world were unable to access any of the social media platforms.

While some speculate that this was an attempted cyberattack, Facebook blames the problem on a bug that occurred during routine maintenance.

The Business of Disaster

The Facebook crash hit advertisers and businesses hard. And while technology outages are not uncommon, it’s noteworthy when this many of the world’s most used social media platforms go dark at the same time – especially when paid ads are on the chopping block. A rough estimate made by Snopes suggests a whopping $79 million was lost in ad revenue during the 6-hour downtime.

Additionally, the outage of the company’s apps sent shares down 4.8% and cost CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself nearly $6 billion. It’s also estimated that as of the time the company announced it was back online, Facebook would have lost around $99.75 million in revenue.

Key Takeaway: Next Horizon IT Service Provider

With the dust now settled and systems back online, businesses and consumers are back to using the social media platforms – but there’s still a lingering sense of distrust. While advertisers and businesses can use times of crisis to connect with consumers, they need to be able to use – and to trust – their chosen marketing tools.

The first key takeaway is that brands should not rely on one app for all of their marketing efforts. Businesses that practice an omnichannel marketing strategy will be able to more consistently reach their audience across multiple platforms.

The second key takeaway is that businesses need a capable IT service provider on their side. For over 30 years, Next Horizon has been the go-to IT service provider for IT solutions in Orlando. If you need secure web hosting, data recovery, or IT maintenance, contact Next Horizon for a full suite of IT solutions.

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