Popular social media app Instagram is experiencing down time today in the midst of American Thanksgiving, a major national holiday that would normally mean an increase in users posting about their dinners, family experiences, and more, and Facebook is experiencing similar issues. Instagram - and the whole Facebook family of apps - are typically accessed more during major holidays as a means of connecting with friends, showing off gifts or meals, and generally updating followers on what a user's personal experiences look like during well-known events.
The Facebook family of apps has been struggling as of late with frequent downtime issues, though none have been quite as pronounced as an outage during a holiday. Facebook has been making waves in a fair number of industry sectors recently, with a recent commitment to its Facebook Gaming program in the form of acquiring popular streamer DisguisedToast from Twitch. The company has also been hard at work promoting its Facebook Pay payment system, which has been met with some confusion from consumers who are only just beginning to understand the serious privacy issues that Facebook knew about over the years and endangered users with during that time.
Instagram, meanwhile, has been quietly chugging along as one of the premier influencer platforms in the world, which makes Instagram's Thanksgiving down time even more brutal for users. Plenty of folks expected to gain a lot of traffic and visibility through their Thanksgiving posts, but that's been put on hold while Instagram investigates the issue. The company tweeted about the downtime - which is affecting more than just Instagram, spreading to some of Facebook's other apps - and stated that it would be investigating the issue and getting things back to normal as quickly as possible.
We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook’s family of apps, including Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. #InstagramDown— Instagram (@instagram) November 28, 2019
As Facebook and the companies it owns continue to attempt an image overhaul that's been long overdue, issues like this persisting through key moments underscore the unreliability of social media as a means of communication with friends and family. It also shows just how important these apps have become to people over the holidays, as consumers have been particularly upset by the timing, noting that American Thanksgiving is a time they've come to expect lots of social media interaction with friends they don't necessarily speak to as often or with family they can't see physically during the holiday.
As Facebook's apps continue to take center stage in social media, the frequency with which they experience down time needs to be lessened, too. It's not like outages are going to drive people away from Instagram or Messenger any time soon, but it does offer some small windows of opportunity for competitors to begin gaining a foothold, something that Facebook could easily prevent with improved infrastructure and transparency - though consumers shouldn't hold their breath on the latter.
More to come...