Facebook & Instagram Outage: Counting the Cost in Millions

Unraveling the financial aftermath of Meta's recent outages: a deep dive into lost revenue, outage costs, and the challenges of ensuring reliability for major tech platforms.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
Facebook and Instagram's Big Money Loss During Unexpected down

Mark Zuckerberg (Image via X)

We've all experienced app outages before, but even big companies like Meta aren't immune from major connectivity issues. Just this month(March 5), Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went down, leaving millions of users out of luck until it was fixed.

Word spread fast on other platforms as confused folks took to Twitter asking what was going on. Outage tracking site Down Detector was bombarded with over 650,000 Facebook reports and 150,000 for Instagram in just a couple of hours.


Costly Downtime for the Tech Giant

When you're talking about a behemoth like Meta, service outages aren't just an inconvenience – they're a monumental financial blow. Take the outage last October that took Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp offline for around 6 hours. Analysts estimated that short disruption cost Meta a staggering $100 million in lost ad revenue potential.

To put that in perspective, Meta raked in over $117 billion from ads in 2021 across their suite of apps. So that 6-hour outage represented nearly 0.1% of their entire year's ad revenue, gone in the blink of an eye.

This latest March outage that stretched around 3 hours was likely just as expensive, if not more so. Back in 2021, reports indicated Meta was haemorrhaging around $160,000 in lost revenue per minute their services were down, or a stupefying $2,670 per second.

Factoring in higher ad rates in 2024, a 3-hour service blackout could have easily cost Meta over $28 million! That's enough to fund a small nation for a year. Just imagine – every 60 seconds that Facebook, Instagram and the company remained offline, close to $160,000 vanished into thin air. A mere minute of prolonged downtime is more than most people make in a year.

So while we casually grumbled about not getting our social media fix, hundreds of thousands of dollars were evaporating from Meta's bottom line with each passing moment of the outage. For a tech titan, so dependent on ads, prolonged connectivity issues of this magnitude represent a serious threat to their money-minting machine.

Getting Things Back Online

After battling the issues for several hours, Meta spokesman Andy Stone updated that the technical glitch had been solved and their platforms were up and running again. He apologized for the hassle, stating they jumped on resolving it ASAP for impacted users.

While the immediate problem was solved, outages like this can really hurt Meta financially and reduce customer confidence long term. Since they make their money from ads, every second site is offline means big bucks disappearing. Reliability is key when people depend on these platforms so much.

Hopefully, they can beef up their infrastructure to avoid disruptions for users and their bottom line going forward. But for now, they'll be working to regain lost trust after such a major outage.

Latest Stories