Social media outages were the highlight of July 2019. All our favorite social networks had some big problems through out the month.
So, what did exactly happen?
A Summer of Social Media Outages
Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp
July 2019 didn’t start that well for the Facebook Inc family. As Users faced problems loading pictures, videos and other files on Facebook and Instagram. In addition, accessing Messenger and Whatsapp was difficult, and even impossible for some users.
Users tried to turn on and off their phones and devices, thinking that the issue was a device problem.
The Facebook team resolved to twitter once again to communicate with users and let them know that the issue is being solved.
As usual, with FB, IG and even Whatsapp gone, users stormed the “only” popular and last standing social network -Twitter- with memes and jokes about the outage.
Moreover, SEO wise, this outage reminded us about the importance of ALT tags in the web universe. This issue pointed to Facebook’s bad quality of automatically generated descriptions and Alt tags.
Yep! an additional thing Facebook will be attacked for. However, we’re not sure if this affects Facebook’s reputation, from users’ point of view. As users genuinely believed that the issue concerned devices before realizing that there is an outage.
Same day as the Facebook fail, Twitter reported issues with the platform as well. And a couple of weeks later, Twitter suffered an hour outage both on mobile and web. Tweets couldn’t load and users kept receiving an error message that says: “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing —we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”
The Twitter outage occurred – weirdly – at the same time as the Social Media Summit, hosted by the one and only Twitter fanatic: Donald Trump.
It’s important to note that the two media giants: Facebook and Twitter were left out of the White House social media summit. The event was set to bring together the digital sphere leaders to discuss the online world’s challenges and opportunities. Maybe it’s due to the enraging outage or for other political reasons…All we know, is that the White House Social Media Summit was more of a humorous event rather than a valid discussion about the digital world’s future.
The July of outages continued with more than 2 hour long interruption and issues on Reddit. The issue with Reddit started with users reporting problems with logging in to the social network. Then it kept going until the whole platform was down.
The login difficulties affected people using desktop more than mobile users. The introvert social network didn’t release any official statement, until users started to get the above error message.
Facebook and Instagram fails continued almost weekly. The hashtags #Facebookdown and #Instagramdown were trending through out the month.
One thing we can take away from this major social media outage is: to aspire to build a brand so strong, that people will doubt their own phones, devices and internet providers before even thinking that the source of the problem is the social network.
Lesson learned. Well done Facebook Inc!
From Privacy to Anti-bullying
In the F8 conferences, Mark Zuckerberg and his team talked repeatedly about one theme: Privacy. And you can’t blame them after all the attacks they had in the past year due to their “unethical” data use strategies.
Cough *Cambridge Analytica* Cough
It seems that the Facebook Family is trying to make up for those “mis-behaviors” by making Instagram a better place.
Instagram vowed to fight bullying on the platform. Their team has been working on building artificial intelligence that can definitively block bullies’ content. Of course, building this AI will take years. However, Instagram are getting there step by step. Starting with fighting bullying comments. Instagram will put in place a system that actually detects bullying comments before they’re posted and ask the person: “are you sure you want to post this comment?”
Also, Instagram is hiding number of likes’ from influencers posts. Instagram initially rolled out the hidden likes in Canada and now they’re moving to New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Australia and Brazil. Of course the likes will still be visible to the owner of the post, but not to the followers and other users. This update will affect the way Influencer Marketing is done. Influencers base their revenue and success on the number of post likes they receive. Also, People ten to engage more with posts that have higher likes’ count.
Many people are questioning the effect of hiding likes for Instagram users. Others are calling it as the end of “Influencer Marketing” as we know it today.
One thing for sure,
Younger Instagram users will have a different experience, as they won’t have to compare themselves to other users or influencers.
Pinterest’s Compassionate Search
Pinterest launched a new initiative called: Compassionate Search. Pinterest users will have access to a new feature that will suggest de-stress and well-being activities to users who are clicking on suicide or mental illness pins. The user will get a pop up with steps to follow, in order to take a break and feel better.
Pinterest keeps being the nice kid in the Social Media squad.
Whatsapp business, Social Media for Business
At the moment, more than five million small and medium businesses are using WhatsApp Business. And the number is increasing. Whatsapp Business – that also had a minor outage this month- was build for small business owners, in order to automate interactions with customers, for a better and quicker customer experience. Small business owners can even send notification to their customers using the app.
Whatsapp also announced this week, that they’re working on the development of a desktop app that functions without mobile. Which will make using the app more accessible for businesses.
Moreover, WhatsApp is launching payments through the app for India. The P2P payment system will be available in India by the end of the year. This payment trial will open doors to launch it in other markets as well.
We’re not sure how the Indian regulations will deal with the P2P system. Especially, that Facebook are obviousely a way to get around the “cryptocurrency ban” in India. However, this will be an additional test to Facebook’s Libra.