After an outage that lasted about six hours, social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger slowly started working again in the middle of last night.
While Twitter users mostly enjoyed the opportunity to poke fun at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the outage had major consequences for individuals, companies and businesses around the world.
Aside from preventing around 3.5 billion people across the world from communicating on these platforms for many hours, the outage affected many small businesses and creators who rely on these services for their income.
Additionally, as many people use Facebook to log into other apps and websites, the outage also resulted in people not being able to access their accounts for online shopping websites, their smart TVs and other internet-connected devices.
On a smaller, more personal scale, I received an old-school SMS for the first time in a long time and spent 10 seconds wondering what that sound was before realising I had forgotten what a regular text notification sounded like.
Just to underline how much we’ve collectively come to rely on social media, Belgian telecom providers also reported that regular phone traffic (texts and calls that do not use the internet) went up by roughly 33% between 6:00 PM and midnight.
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