Instagram and WhatsApp’s blackout highlights its vital importance

Instagram and WhatsApp's blackout highlights its vital importance

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – The six-hour blackout of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp was an inconvenience for many users, but more severe for millions of people who use social media to run their businesses or communicate with relatives, spouses, teachers. depend on the network. or neighbor.

The shutdown of all three services on Monday highlighted the power and reach of Facebook, the owner of the photo and messaging app.

Across the world, the WhatsApp outage took many people by surprise. In Brazil, the messaging service is by far the most used app in the country, having been installed on 99% of cell phones, according to technology pollster Mobil Time.

WhatsApp has become essential in Brazil not only for communication between friends and families, but also between businesses and their customers, in universities and for everyday transactions such as ordering food.

Offices, services and even courts had problems making appointments, and telephone lines were overwhelmed.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians both at home and abroad felt the lack of WhatsApp.

Many of Haiti’s 11 million people rely on the service to alert each other to violence in a given area or to talk to relatives about money transfers and other urgent matters in the United States. Huh. Migrants in the United States use it to locate themselves or to pinpoint sleeping places.

For small businesses, outages caused hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages.

“Today’s outage exposed our reliance on Facebook and assets like WhatsApp and Instagram,” said Brooke Erin Duffy, a communications professor at Cornell University. Huge categories of workers depend for their income on the operation of the platform.

The outage is one example of how entrepreneurs and small businesses suffer every time Facebook or others add a new accessory or change the way it works in some way.

Sarah Murdoch runs a small travel agency in Seattle called Adventures with Sarah that promotes her tours via video on Facebook Live. He estimates that the cuts cost him thousands of dollars in reserves.

“I’ve tried other platforms because I don’t trust Facebook, but none are quite as powerful for the content I create,” Murdoch said. As for the loss, “Maybe it’s a few people, but we’re a small business and it hurts.”

Heather Lynton has run a portrait studio in Lynton, Indiana, for 18 years. He takes photographs and creates photo posters for schools and sports teams. She has her own website, but says many customers find her through social media.

He said he may have lost bookings for three or four sessions at $200 per customer.


Related Stories