If you restarted your WIFI and phone more than once on Monday, 4 October 2021 — just to see Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp again not loading — then know you weren't alone! The tech giant faced a major outage thanks to "faulty configuration changes", according to Business Insider. This left 3.51 billion monthly users (including the core Family product) in the dark for more than five hours.

As a result, users were flocking to social media platforms that weren't offline, such as Twitter and TikTok. (You best believe that these platforms made good use of the number of users flocking to them).

This was an inconvenience for daily users, and numerous brands felt the negative impact on their businesses because of it. The event also led social media users, such as influencers and brands, to reflect on what the Facebook outage has meant for their futures.

So, ready to see the silver lining in it all? Let’s get right into it:

Lesson 1: Tech isn't perfect

It can be so easy to forget that technology is not yet at a place of perfection (and might never be). This means that there will always be a lot of room for innovation and growth. Although tech is mostly reliable, it is essential to keep in mind that sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

It’s tempting to go and create new social media accounts on other platforms such as LinkedIn or TikTok — just in case of another outage — but that might not be the way to go. Unless you plan on being active on all your current platforms, having a dead or unused account will not look good for your brand. Additionally, trying to build a loyal following on a social media platform that your brand's audience isn't on doesn't make sense.

For example, if you are a highly visual brand that focuses on beautiful imagery, then you know Instagram is the place to be. A highly visual brand of images will not do well on LinkedIn.

Also, keep in mind that this is the first time ever that Facebook and its core Family products have experienced an outage this big — and is very unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

The silver lining: There will always be growth in the social media space — whether it's with technology or when it comes to digital strategies.

Lesson 2: Society is dependant on social media

Social media is an essential part of humans' everyday lives. From connecting with friends and family to selling and buying products or services, there is no denying our dependence on these platforms.

Although it can be debated that this reliance might not always be a healthy thing, it's actually in consumers' and brands' best interest to further incorporate these tools into everyday practice.

Some brands still question if they should invest in social media and digital strategies. And if they weren’t before the mishap, they sure are now. But if there is one thing that the Facebook outage has shown the world, it’s that everyone and anyone goes straight to the digisphere to find or to be found. If it’s not on Facebook, it will be on another platform.

That’s why brands need to use social media tracking and reporting services. The offering will help them to keep track of what consumers are saying about their brand online, over various social platforms.

The silver lining: The blackout was a reminder that a lot of time and effort should go into a brand’s social media strategy, because social media is not limited to one platform.

Lesson 3: Humour remains the biggest asset (in a social media blackout)

During the Facebook outage, millions of users flocked to Twitter and TikTok and started posting memes, GIFs and humorous content about the situation. This helped people connect positively and get to talk about what was happening across the globe.

Even Instagram, which was down, hopped on Twitter. Other brands jumped on as well, asking them if they are doing okay:

*Image sourced from Twitter

Another sterling example of humour connecting people can be seen with South Africa’s very own Nandos:

*Image sourced from Twitter

This just shows how benefical humourous content is for brands. Humour connects people and helps lighten whatever stressful situation that people are faced with.

Many brands have jumped on the newsjacking train and it sure paid off! Their content has received a lot of engagement, which definitely led to a lot of online traffic for their brands.

Silver lining: Brands were reminded just how powerful and useful humorous content can be when used right.
What other benefits do you think have come out of the great Facebook outage? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you are looking to venture onto new social media platforms be sure to read TikTok for Business: Everything from A — Z.
*Image courtesy of Pexels