OK. Facebook is a huge hit. With 3 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) users, no one can stay away from Facebook now. If you want to advertise and reach out to people for your business, do you want to do it all on Facebook? Not at all.
First, as we saw on October 4, Facebook can go down with a loud bang. Across the world, it was down. We thought that was a cool crash. Technically, a simple mistake with Facebook’s internet settings led to huge problems for the company. The border gateway protocol (BGP) and Domain Name System settings are important, but you don’t need to know how to set them up to see the results. It meant that not just Facebook, but all its services and apps, like Instagram and WhatsApp, were also down.
Facebook was the big story in the U.S., but let’s not forget that WhatsApp is used for texting and phone calls in other parts of the world. If you live in India, the Netherlands, Spain, or Italy, you’re more likely to use WhatsApp than any other messaging app. WhatsApp is very important to people in many countries.
The end result is: what? Every single one of them was shut down, too.
We soon found that many other things happened even if you agreed with us that these services were down. Even if you let customers sign in with Facebook, they could also not get into your shopping site or Internet of Things (IoT) device.
Make sure you put it all together, and you have both a personal and a business disaster. A HUH clothing start-up founder told the New York Times: “With Facebook down, we’re losing thousands in sales.” A few hours of sales could make the difference between paying the electricity bill or the rent for the month.
Now, Facebook was very “sorry,” and they were very sorry. We still had to pay for it when it didn’t work out.
Do you want to do this again? I wouldn’t do that.
Yes, Facebook likes to say that it’s a good partner for small businesses. But if it doesn’t keep its end of the deal, is it a good partner at all?
We can’t give up on Facebook, so that’s clear. Too many people use it to just walk away from it. But, we can stop relying on it so much, and we can move away from that. As a business, you should not only use Facebook and Instagram for social networking and advertising. You should start spreading these efforts to other social networks like TikTok and Twitter.
Also, keep in mind that even though Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of social networking today, it might not be tomorrow.
Many people don’t like how Facebook interferes with their social lives and keeps an eye on them. In the wake of Frances Haugen’s report, it was no surprise that Facebook’s products “harm children, stir up division, and weaken our democracy” and that the company “put profit over moral responsibility.” It is, after all, the same site that spreads COVID-19 denial and misinformation, and it helped Cambridge Analytica get 87 million people’s Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. It is why.
Putting the good of people first is something Mark Zuckerberg talks about a lot, and he does a good job. But the facts disproved his story. True, but parents who want to know what their kids are up to aren’t going to stop using Facebook to do that. Besides, if the kids stop going on Facebook, that’s another story.
In the past, everyone you knew read the local paper every day. Remember that for all those people on Facebook, there was a time when everyone you knew read the paper every day. In the past, everyone had an AOL account. Is AOL still around? Remember when Yahoo! was the site everyone searched for things on the web?
Things could change. Quickly.
Think again if you think Facebook is too big to fail because it hasn’t always worked out. It’s also important to make sure that if Facebook goes down, your business doesn’t go down with it, too.
By diversifying your social network spend, advertising, and platform reliance right now, you can get ready for that day. Many people don’t want to give up Facebook. That would be stupid. But as Facebook stumbles after a technology failure and its reputation takes a hit after a hit, it’s time to think about what else you can do. In the future, you’ll be glad you did what you did.