In The Aftermath of a Social Outage

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If you didn’t notice the outage of all Facebook’s platforms on the 4th, you’ve heard about it by now. The outage not only took down Facebook, but other platforms owned by tech titan- Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. While the outage had an impact on the day-to-day life of the platforms combined 3.51 billion monthly users, the most impacted by the outage were businesses, particularly, small businesses who rely solely on these platforms to market and sell their products and services.

Ask the right questions

Following the restoration of the platforms, users seemed to ask the same question: Why did this happen?

While knowing the cause of the outage is a good starting point, brands should be focused on how to minimize revenue loss in the event something similar happens again. While trying to plan for every eventuality, however, it is important not to transition from a plan that is too narrowly focused to one that is too broadly focused.

Identify Where your audience is

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It’s natural to want to start a conversation with your audience on every platform available following the outage, and while the long term affects the outage has on your audiences’ behavior is yet to be seen, it’s unlikely they will migrate to every platform that does not form part of the Facebook empire.

Rather, identify one or two alternative platforms that your audience is most active on and focus on building your presence there. Consistency is key in audience building, so ensure you can sustainably maintain your content quality and engagement on a new platform before committing to it.

Platforms that stole the spotlight during the outage

Naturally, the internet needed a place to talk about Facebook and its platforms before they were back online, and the winners were both surprising and expected.

1. Twitter

Easily recognised but often disregarded, Twitters’ quick tongue-in-cheek response to their influx of active users following the outage has made them a fan favorite.

2. Signal and Telegram

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Relatively new kids on the block, both Signal and Telegram reported millions of new users in the wake of the outage, filling the gap left by WhatsApp. Prior to the outage Signal gained popularity due to its privacy policy, stating they would not collect or store any data from their users. Signals Spike in downloads was doubt bolstered by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, tweeting his support of the platform as an alternative to the popular Facebook-owned messenger app, WhatsApp.