Impacts of Facebook's glitch on the global economy

By bmvtyea | Bernie-flow | 8 Oct 2021

Last Monday (04), the whole world was impacted by the interruption of the operation of Facebook platforms. The technical problem - according to the company - took Facebook's core social network and its Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger apps offline for about five hours. This was one of the longest and most far-reaching failures in the company's history - something that hadn't happened since 2019.


The interruption was felt by the more than 3.5 billion people around the world who use the Facebook Family to communicate, inform, entertain and in many cases, work. The impact inevitably hit small businesses and digital influencers. In 2020, WhatsApp claimed that 50 million commercial companies used its business app worldwide.


Businesses that are exclusively hosted on Facebook networks were undoubtedly more negatively affected than the platform itself, which failed to bring in about $79 million in ad revenue, according to Snopes fact-checking site calculations based on the company revenue in the second quarter of this year.


On Twitter - which surfed the rival's interruption - some people joked about the increase in GDP after network failures, referring to greater productivity. While the joke is somewhat humorous, the effect on the global economy is the complete opposite. Facebook platforms have become a fundamental tool for the daily lives of these small and medium businesses, in addition to being a great intermediary for the marketing revenue of large brands.


In NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) calculations, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram down for an hour means an approximate loss of $160 million to the global economy.


It's been a long time since networks are no longer just a means of entertainment. They are also more than the market for digital influencers. From the medical clinic to the restaurant, social networks have become one of the foundations of our economy and probably the main means of generating and exchanging information in history.

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