In October 2021, Facebook went down. Any by Facebook, we mean all of Facebook’s online services: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, even the Oculus network. But it wasn’t just the company’s user-facing services that suffered outages: its internal systems – including access control to its datacenters – was also down, making it harder to remedy the situation.
While most personal users didn’t make too much of the situation – after all, being unable to see the latest updates from the influencers or the latest odds at the Official Vwin Thailand Facebook page is not a life-threatening situation. For millions, in turn, the outage was much more serious, severing vital communication lines, making storefronts inaccessible, even threatening livelihoods in the process. Not to mention the further millions who rely on Facebook to authenticate on their devices ranging from smartwatches to smart TVs, shopping websites and other services.
Facebook’s recent outage was certainly a big deal, showing us how reliant we are on a single service for communication, entertainment, and authentication. But the company’s track record is pretty good compared to some other services that suffer outages much more often. Many of these are localized issues – from this point of view, Facebook’s downtime was truly a big deal – but they are annoying nevertheless.
The gaming service that goes down the most, at least in the US and the UK, is Discord. US users have reported that it was down 130 times over the last year, and UK users have complained about 140 outages. In most cases, there were connection problems (that could’ve been caused by internet service providers on either end of the connection) but in about 4% of the cases, users simply couldn’t log in.
Discord offers VoIP, instant messaging, and digital content distribution services to its users. As of this year, it has more than 350 million users all over the globe.
Another gaming service that’s often reported to be down is Steam, Valve’s game marketplace. Users have reported more than 100 outages in the UK and close to 100 in the US over the last year. Surprisingly, while US users mostly report issues with playing games on the network, UK players usually complain about not being able to connect.
The track record of Xbox Live is much better, and the PlayStation Network is also behaving in a more reliable way.
Instagram is one of the biggest social networks today – and also the one the most prone to outages. But these outages are minor compared to this October’s blooper – hiccoughs in the delivery of fresh content to the users’ news feeds that are over within minutes.
Snapchat and TikTok are both behaving better, though, and so do Twitter and – perhaps this comes as a surprise – WhatsApp. Out of Facebook’s bouquet of services, WhatsApp seems to be the most reliable, with just 2 outages reported in the US over the last year. Aside from the big one, of course.
Video streaming is all the rage today – and as such, the most annoying when it goes down. No wonder service providers do their best to keep their service running. While outages are relatively rare, they do happen.
The streamer with the worst track record in the US over the last year is YouTube. When it comes to music streaming, Spotify did worst in the last year, with 35 outages reported in the US, and 41 of them reported in the UK.
Amazon Prime Video has proven to be the most reliable video streaming service in the US, with just 6 outages reported in the last 12 months, and in the UK, Disney+ behaved itself the best, with just 13 outages over the last year.
Considering how complex the processes behind our digital lives can be, it shouldn’t be a surprise that services do go out. Actually, it would be much more surprising if they didn’t. Luckily, the outages are short – even the biggest one, affecting Facebook’s services, only lasted for about six hours – and don’t disrupt our business, entertainment, and communication for long.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.