Facebook has been a disaster to advertisers in March. With the unprecedented outage of the social media platform on March 13, it’s not only the users who were livid about it. Businesses who depend on Mark Zuckerberg’s creation for marketing and ads lost.
The massive outage went far beyond Facebook. This extended to its family of apps like Instagram and WhatsApp. With an estimated $191 Million in daily revenue, this faux pas should not happen again.
The Facebook outage created a palpable financial impact on the advertising world. How much is it? What will the Zuck do about it?
Today, we’ll talk about the server error that lost businesses money. Every time you ask “is Facebook down” and it is, you can guarantee a business somewhere got revenue hits. Here’s how bad it is.
1. Understanding The Facebook Outage
Before we can understand the financial costs of the FB outage, we need to understand first what happened.
On March 13, Facebook and its family of apps started a cascade of errors for its users. During the entirety of the day, many users reported on Down Detector huge issues from their side, which made the social media platform unusable.
At the start of the day, FB speculated it was a distributed denial of service or DDOS attack. The malicious possibility took a different turn later in the day.
Mark Zuckerberg reported a server configuration issue caused the cascade. This resulted in a server error.
Why is Facebook down because of a server issue? The reported server configuration problem prevented users from accessing their applications and other software. This resulted in the debacle we all know as March 13.
2. Businesses Get Hit Bad With The Server Error
If you’re one of FB’s users, you might have felt inconvenience when it went down. Businesses and advertisers, however, got the shorter end of the stick. Many of them lost revenue for that day due to its inaccessibility.
According to Facebook, there are more than 6 million advertisers on the FB platform alone. This doesn’t count influencer deals and their other apps like Instagram.
Advertisers paid money to run marketing and ad campaigns for that day. The FB outage disallowed them from doing so. This resulted in losses for the entire day.
Down Detector found out many high-value regions were the most affected. The denial of service gave issue to many areas with high user density. Areas that checked “is Facebook down” include:
- Selected California areas
- New York
- Seattle region
- Major Australian cities
With Facebook’s annual revenue going at around $55.8 Billion in 2018, FB could have lost around $90 million in profit for the 14 hours that the entire platform went down.
3. Advertisers Lose Money From Denial Of Service
Businesses and advertisers drew the shortest end of the stick. Reports say that many advertisers lost $10,000 – $18,000 in ad money for that day alone. This is even more of a headscratcher than those numbers too.
Why? That’s because advertisers don’t run simple ad campaigns. They use influencer marketing to endorse their products.
Losing a single day in endorsements can be detrimental. This is especially true for many small businesses who rely on this method. With a server error, that’s an entire day lost for nothing.
Some advertising firms had to stop operations for much of March 13 until the wee hours of the next day. That’s why if you’re an advertiser, you need to keep a checklist of things to do like in this blog.
4. Small Businesses Pay For The Facebook Outage
For small businesses, thousands of dollars in lost ad money can be a big hit. This is true especially for firms who rely on performance-based metrics to earn their keep. If you can’t advertise for the day, that’s money and reputation that gets a tanking.
This is not, however, Facebook’s first rodeo with server errors. In November, an FB outage of their Ad Manager prevented businesses from advertising. This resulted in lost revenue for the high-value Black Friday and Cyber Monday season.
In 2013, a denial of service glitch happened but only ran for a few minutes before it received a quick patch.
Is Facebook Down? Brace Yourself
With the entire debacle on the afterburners now, the question still remains. Will Facebook provide a refund to its advertisers? With Down Detector finding out many major locations got affected, it seems Mark and his team considers refunding for lost ads.
Bloomberg reports that the company is weighing its options for a refund. There is no public report of a return ever since the incident, but the possibility stands to reason.
The reliance on such digital service for marketing and advertising makes for very little patience of such mishaps. People who know the reliability of Facebook as an ad platform also put forth their investment in its 24/7 operation.
There’s no telling why Facebook is down at any given moment, but such issues should not last long. An FB outage during a week where conversions are fantastic can be devastating. Imagine running your ads, paying for it, but you have zero conversions?
The sad part is that there’s no known information if Facebook communicated a refund to its advertisers. This means they’re not making it easy for teams to recoup their losses. With the massive under-delivery, it stands to reason that a server error should result in giving back advertiser money for it.
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When it comes to the financial impact of the Facebook outage, advertisers get shafted, and it’s not right. They lose money in ad money and potential revenue. Mark Zuckerberg should be refunding those who got the short end for sure.
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