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Facebook Explains October 4 Outage

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Facebook explains, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for, an outage that took services offline for six hours on Monday, October 4.

All three properties — Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp — went down starting around 11:40AM ET Monday and remained inaccessible until they came back online some hours later.

To make matters worse, many of Facebook’s internal tools and communication systems couldn’t be accessed while the network was down. That extended the time it took to resolve the problem.

While Facebook was working to get everything up and running again, it acknowledged there was a problem but didn’t estimate when services would return.

Where did Facebook inform people about its network problems if it couldn’t post on its own site?

It went where millions of others did during the great Facebook outage of 2021: Twitter.

Twitter had a bit of fun with its unexpected spike in popularity by posting a cheeky tweet, which caught the attention of hundreds of famous brands and celebrities.

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To say the world came together during this six hour window is no understatement.

Fortunately for the businesses and advertisers that depend on Facebook, the outage wasn’t nearly as bad as the one in 2019 that impacted all three services for over 24 hours.

Now that everything is back online and working as it should, people want answers for why the apps they depend on were inaccessible for a significant amount of the work day.

While Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down speculation ran rampant that they were targets of a sophisticated hack or DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack.

Is there any truth to those rumors? Let’s look a look at the company’s official announcement.

Why Was Facebook Down on Monday October 4?

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down on Monday due to an interruption in communication between company data centers.

The interruption is said to be caused by configuration changes on the routers that coordinate traffic between the data centers.

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Disruption of network traffic had a cascading effect on the way Facebook’s data centers communicate, which brought all services to a halt.

Facebook confirms it’s back online and dispels rumors that any user data was compromised:

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

Zuckerberg posted a brief apology on his Facebook page, stating:

“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”

How will advertisers be impacted? 

Facebook confirms ads didn’t run while its sites were down, so advertisers will not be charged for campaigns they were running during that time.

Ads have now resumed and may even run on accelerated delivery Facebook’s systems recover from the outage.

What happens now?

The next step for the company is to learn more about what caused the outage, as Facebook says it’s committed to building a network that can resist these kinds of disruptions.

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“We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient.”

In the future, Facebook will keep the public informed about outages on an official status page.

Sources: Facebook Engineering, Facebook For Business


Featured Image: M-SUR / Shutterstock

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 

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These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.

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Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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