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Facebook shares dip after site outage

Facebook was down for 42 minutes around midday in California, after being out of service for 12 minutes four days earlier

Facebook shares dropped nearly 4% as investors expressed their dissatisfaction after the site went down for a second time in five days and reportedly the third time in 11 days.  

Because of the timing, mainly US visitors to the site were greeted with the error message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

According to website performance tracker currentlydown.com, Facebook was down for 42 minutes around midday in California, after being out of service for 12 minutes four days earlier.

A Facebook engineer said there was a problem with its core system that connects posts, photos and status updates to people and groups, reports the BBC.

“A Facebook-wide issue is causing the Facebook Graph application programming interface (API) to be temporarily unavailable. We’re working with our core infrastructure teams to identify the issue and will update you when we have more information,” said a post on Facebook’s developer site.

Subsequent updates on the site said: “This should now be resolved. Graph API is functioning normally. We have identified the issue and are in the process of pushing the fix.”

Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said: “We are currently resolving Facebook services people had trouble accessing earlier today due to a configuration issue.”

However, the social networking firm did not say how many of its more than 1 billion users worldwide were affected and did not provided any further details.

David Jones, digital performance expert at application performance management software firm Dynatrace, said: “The latest Facebook outage, even though it was brief, shows just how critical digital performance management is to today’s businesses.”

“In a world where seconds of delay can translate into millions of dollars in lost revenue and impact both reputation and loyalty, an outage of this breadth can wreak havoc – and that’s just what we’ve seen from the immediate reaction on social media,” he said.

According to Jones, organisations should have the ability to isolate the cause of performance issues in real time and use this information to prevent users from being affected.

“Without this capabilty, businesses and the customers – including Facebook members and advertisers – who rely on them can be thrown back to the dark ages,” said Jones.

The outage prompted humorous posts on Twitter, with #facebookdown among the top trending hashtags during and after the service disruption.

“I hear that Twitter agreed to take in 10 million Facebook refugees yesterday,“ said one tweet, while another read: “People screaming, walking and crying on streets, holding their pictures and asking ‘Do you like my photo? Do you?’”

In the UK, Kingston Police tweeted: “Yes, we can confirm Facebook is down, please don’t call us. What a great opportunity to spend some time with your family.”

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Wow. I know Facebook is huge, and I did notice the short outage, but that impact is really surprising to me. The down time was for a matter of minutes, and this is a social site, not some kind of critical site.
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One has to wonder how the downtime of a mostly fund and kitschy social site would have such financial ramifications for what is effectively a place to share photos and stories. It's not that mission critical... to us. To the vendors using it as an advertising platform, it absolutely is a mission critical site, and that's what the stock market hit really implies.
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