Facebook tops off spotty summer with another outage

Negative Campaign

Facebook is back up after going offline for roughly fifteen minutes Wednesday afternoon. During its down period, there was the usual outcry on Twitter and #Facebookdown starting trending on the competing social platform.

The outage wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy except for the fact that this is the second time Facebook has gone down in the past month (and the third time this summer). The last occasion was more serious and sustained, affecting some apps that use the Facebook API to verify user login.

The company has so far offered no explanation for what happened. I’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this when (or if) I hear back. (See response below)

Facebook spent the summer moving Instagram’s data from the public AWS cloud to Facebook’s servers, so it’s possible there have been some infrastructure complications from that shift. Without word from Facebook, it’s hard to know whether the two outages this past month were connected to each other and the Instagram migration, or the result of different unrelated causes.

Update: A Facebook spokesperson told me:

“Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook. We immediately discovered the issue and fixed it, and everyone should now be able to connect. We apologize for the inconvenience and will thoroughly investigate this issue so we can learn from it and ensure that Facebook is there when people need it.”

The company did not respond to my question as to whether the Instagram data migration was the cause.

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