Social media services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram suffered an outage on Monday October 4, impacting 3.5 billion users worldwide and sending Facebook stocks plummeting 5%.

The outage was reportedly caused by “configuration changes on the backbone routers”. Facebook quickly recognised the inconvenience that the courage caused and stated: “To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry,” 

Following the outage, brands and businesses that rely on Facebook for their marketing campaigns are forced to question how they have been affected and what potential future alternative channels they can explore to protect their business from similar outages in the future.

Outbrain, a recommendation platform for the open web, reported a 40% increase in website traffic for publishers as a result.

James Milne, Managing Director, Northern Europe told PerformanceIN: “With Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp going down, brands and businesses operating across these channels experienced a marketing blackout as users were unable to browse there. Instead, consumers turned to the open web as an online media resource. These publishers consequently experienced a 40% increase in traffic volume.

“The results demonstrate the volatility of the walled gardens as well as the risk posed to brands that exclusively advertise there. It’s an important moment in our industry to realise there are options outside the walled gardens. The open web for example provides extensive reach and offers sophisticated contextual targeting across the world’s leading publishers. Recent Outbrain research compares native ads on the open web with social media ads and found they are 44% more trusted, received 21% higher click-through rates and were 24% more likely to lead to purchase.

“Brands must prepare for similar outages in future by diversifying their digital advertising strategies. This latest outage has highlighted why the open web and the premium publishers that make up this ecosystem offer a great way to safeguard budgets while retaining high levels of performance across a range of marketing objectives.”

It’s great to see that despite a problem that seemingly causes huge issues, members of the performance marketing industry can be prepared and even benefit. It once again proves the amazing adaptability of the channel.