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Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram Down in “Epic” Configuration Error Outage

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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsAPP and Oculus VR went down early on October 4, 2021. The outage continued through the afternoon. It’s been determined from multiple sources that the outage is likely due to a major misconfiguration that knocked the sites completely off the Internet in what has been described as an epic and nightmare scenario.

Earlier Monday Facebook began slowing down and completely stopped, with browsers unable to resolve the domain. The problem happened across other Facebook owned sites as well.

Facebook Wiped Off the Internet

The configuration errors that caused Facebook to go offline appear to have done more than just take it offline, it essentially  made Facebook disappear from the Internet.

In one of the stranger side effects of the Facebook BGP Routing error outage, the Facebook domain itself was listed in a whois lookup as being available for registration, presumably because the Facebook domain essentially no longer exists.

Screenshot Showing Facebook Domain as Available

Facebook Domain Listed as For Sale

Whois domain name lookup services and domain name registrars are reporting that the Facebook domain name does not exist and is available for sale.

A GoDaddy Brand Listed the Facebook Domain for Sale

Facebook Domain Listed as For Sale

BGP Routing

The problem may be due to configuration of Facebook’s Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing. The BGP routing protocol is a service that calculates the most efficient path to reach a website through the multiple autonomous systems/networks that form the Internet.

When a browser asks for Facebook.com the domain name is translated by the DNS system to an Internet Protocol address (IP address) to a series of numbers that is an address. That IP address number is the address of the content on Facebook’s servers.

The browser makes the request and the BGP routing system calculates the fastest series of network hops to reach that content on Facebook’s servers.

Facebook BGP Routes Withdrawn

According to reports on Twitter, the BGP routes to Facebook have been dropped from the Internet.

The CTO of Cloudflare tweeted that five minutes before the Facebook DNS stopped working, they noticed a large number of BGP route withdrawals.

He tweeted:

“About five minutes before Facebook’s DNS stopped working we saw a large number of BGP changes (mostly route withdrawals) for Facebook’s ASN.”

Cybercrime journalist Brian Krebs reported on Twitter:

“Confirmed: The DNS records that tell systems how to find Facebook.com or Instagram.com got withdrawn this morning from the global routing tables. Can you imagine working at FB right now, when your email no longer works & all your internal FB-based tools fail?”

One person commenting on the situation described it as an Internet network nightmare:

“Boarder Gateway Protocol (BGP) helps networks select the best, most efficient path for internet traffic.

Facebook’s BGP routes have been “withdrawn from the internet.”

This isn’t some basic DNS problem; this is a nightmare for Facebook.”

Cyber Security Expert Kevin Beaumont called it an “epic configuration error”:

“This one looks like a pretty epic configuration error, Facebook basically don’t exist on the internet right now.

Even their authoritative name server ranges have been BGP withdrawn.”

Followed by:

“By not having BGP announcements for your DNS name servers, DNS falls apart = nobody can find you on the internet.

Same with WhatsApp btw.

Facebook have basically deplatformed themselves from their own platform.”

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram Outage is an Epic Nightmare Scenario

The bottom line is that Facebook is down and there are major issues with the Facebook related services.

Related:

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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. 

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.

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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