Facebook Suffers The Most Severe Outage In Its History (3 Minute Read)

Facebook Suffers The Most Severe Outage In Its History (3 Minute Read)

Facebook is suffering the most severe outage in its history, with key services rendered unusable for users globally for much of the day.


The last time Facebook had a disruption of this magnitude was in 2008, when the site had 150m users – compared to around 2.3bn monthly users today.

Facebook’s main product, its two messaging apps and image-sharing site Instagram were all affected.

The cause of the interruption has not yet been made public.

On average, more than 2 billion people use at least one of the Facebook family of services every day.

That means more than 2 billion people are using some combination of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger daily.

I don’t know about you, but hearing the number 2 billion doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me – I just sort of go “wow that’s a big number” and I find it hard to comprehend how many people that actually is.

As users that would normally be scrolling Facebook and Instagram blow the dust off their Twitter accounts – and if they dare, resurrect their MySpace profiles – Facebook starts to lose money – fast.

But when that entire family of apps goes down for more than 9 hours globally, you start to realise just how many people around the world rely on Facebook for distraction and procrastination.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how huge the scope of Facebook really is;


Facebook alone made US$55 billion in 2018, an increase of US$15 billion on 2017. With that exponentially rising trend set to continue in 2019, the entire site going down across all devices for a day takes a huge chunk out of earnings for the social media giant.

If we use a conservative estimate that Facebook is on track to bring in annual revenue of around US$70 billion in 2019 then the implications of going offline for one day are staggering.

By dividing the company’s annual revenue equally across each day of the year we’re able to create a very crude image of how much money Facebook is missing out on with every second that goes past.

Here are the stats:

For every day offline, Facebook will lose more than $191,000,000.

For every hour, almost $8,000,000.

Every minute, $133,181 is lost.

And for every single second that ticks past, Facebook will lose out on more than $2,200.

Facebook down

While obviously, annual revenue isn’t a reliable indicator as to how much income Facebook is generating every second of the day – it is a good exercise in understanding just how many advertisers are bidding for spots on the platform, and how many users are still regularly coming back to the site.

Either way, I think it’s fair to say that no one envies any of the employees currently working overtime in the head office of Silicon Valley’s golden child.



Patrick Black is a marketer with a passion for learning how businesses can improve their advertising through science-backed principles. He enjoys writing about marketing much more than he likes to write about himself.