The recent downtime cost Facebook about half a million dollars

So a couple of days ago the social sky fell in, as Facebook went down for an extended period of time – well, half an hour, anyway. Which in the fast-paced world of the blistering status updates of social media is equivalent to an ice age. Ahem. The outage happened from just after 9:00 GMT and as mentioned lasted around 30 minutes. It led to Twitter being aflame with people moaning about not being able to get on Zuckerberg’s network, or people telling others to get a life and go do something else instead for a bit. And of course the obligatory retweeted jokes. The outage was worldwide across the user base, and it’s the longest downtime Facebook has experienced in quite some time.

Facebook was down for about half an hour Thursday, as you may know if you’re one of the 1.3 billion people around the world who use it (800 million of them — OK, us — every single day). According to the Times, it’s the longest such outage the company’s experienced since 2010. This despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying at the recent F8 conference for Facebook’s platform developers that stability, once pooh-poohed internally, is now of paramount importance. Specifically, he said “Move fast with stable infrastructure” has replaced “Move fast and break things” as the preferred rallying cry. Facebook hasn’t said publicly what was behind the failure. The 2010 outage, which lasted for 2.5 hours, was due to “an unfortunate handling of an error condition,” according to its official report. The good news for Facebook is the damage shouldn’t be too severe, financially. Facebook’s first-quarter revenues of $2.5 billion work out to about $1.16 million an hour. So the company only ought to lose around half a million dollars in ad revenue. For a company that has already spent close to $20 billion this year on acquisitions, that’s not much of a mosquito bite.

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