Last night, Monday 28th of September saw Facebook suffer its third outage in two weeks. Many users took to Twitter to express their shock and horror that they would now have to speak to their family! As one twitter user put it “#facebookdown, so I went to talk to my boyfriend. He seems nice.” (Source: Laura Williams/Twitter).
This was the longest time the social network was down in recent weeks. Usually they last no more than half an hour, but it took more than hour for some users to report that the site is working again.
Now having Facebook off line is no big deal for most people. But for those businesses who operate solely on the social media, it is a different and more serious story. Imagine having your bricks and mortar shop closed for two hours and that impact it would have on your business? Imagine that this is the third time in two weeks that your shop has been closed? How much have you lost in that time?
For us, this just emphasises why businesses need their own website. You will have so much more control over your own website than waiting for an enormous corporation to act out an outage. While having a business page on Facebook is a great starting point for some businesses, it is no substitute for your own website. Remember when you have signed up to Facebook, you have granted them permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post on that page. And if Facebook decide that you have contravened their rules or for any other reason best known to themselves, they can remove your page and you have no access to any of the data or crucially to those customers who have been carefully cultivating. And where does those customers reach you now? Will they make the effort to track you down or will they find someone else who does what you do and buy directly from their website?
Facebook is now back up and running but this outage should make businesses think. A website may not be as expensive as you think, for example Coppertops offer a 4 page website for just €499. However it’s not about how much you can afford to spend on a website, it’s about how much you can afford to lose if this happens again?