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the Facebook outage: in numbers

the Facebook outage: in numbers

customers hooked to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were annoyed by the six-hour disruption. but the real losses were way higher.
July 4, 2021
3 min read
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the Facebook outage: in numbers

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the Facebook outage: in numbers

for six hours on October 4, close to 3.5 billion users were unable to login to their Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts. there was a global outage across these social media platforms. facebook blamed a configuration change for this disruption.

while the internet was flooded with memes about a silent world without Facebook, it cost billions of dollars to the company. the company’s stock suffered and Mark Zuckerberg experienced a personal wealth erosion. 

the numbers here are massive. let’s break them down.

$6 billion in 6 hours: this is what Mark Zuckerberg lost in personal wealth. while Facebook had seen partial outages twice in 2019, this was its biggest outage in history.

5%: the Facebook stock fell nearly 5% as users could not access their social media accounts across. this was its steepest fall since November 9, even as the company stock is tumbling amidst whistleblower allegations. 

$161 million: the loss per hour to the global economy because of the interruption, according to cybersecurity watchdog NetBlocks. this takes the six-hour outage loss to close to $1 billion. 

$100 million: the revenue lost by Facebook due to the breakdown. the figure is based on Facebook’s second quarter earnings, which saw revenue of $29.08 billion over a 91-day period. this works out to be an average of $319.6 million per day, or $13.3 million per hour.

14 million: the number of problems related to these three platforms reported by users on outage-monitoring site Downdetector

1.15 billion: the total number of Indian users on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. India has the largest user base for Facebook, with over 410 million users. its messaging platform WhatsApp has 530 million users, while photo sharing network Instagram has 210 million users. 

$1.2 billion: Facebook Group’s India revenue in 2020-21. in the previous year, its India revenues were roughly at $888 million. 

15 million: the number of Indians who use WhatsApp for business purposes. this includes retail sales and financial transactions. in 2020, Facebook invested $5.7 billion for a 10% stake in Reliance Jio to use WhatsApp for small Indian businesses. 

every day, Indians make nearly 6 million Instagram reels, with some even making a living out of it. so much so that Facebook launched a Reels Play Bonus programme to help the reel creators. India’s social commerce market is $2 billion strong, with brands selling directly to consumers using the very apps that went silent for hours. people’s lives are as dependent on Facebook as it depends on its users.