IG outage

Instagram Outage

Data originally featured in the October 13, 2021 newsletter found here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/blog/2021/10/inbox-insights-october-13-2021-frameworks-instagram-outage-constructive-criticism/

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s take a look at the great Facebook Outage, with respect to Instagram engagement (mainly because on Facebook proper, brand performance is already so close to zero that the outage’s impact was negligible for unpaid efforts). A little more than a week out, what happened?

First, let’s look at brands:

Facebook Outage Instagram brand impact

We see brand engagement did hit an all-time low of 0.23%, but the impact to brand engagement wasn’t so severe that it was a massive impact. It’s a low, to be sure, but not a multiple of existing lows, not 2x lower or anything.

What about influential individual accounts?

Facebook Outage Instagram influencer impact

This is indeed where we see a much larger impact; prior to the outage, influencer engagement was hovering around 1.0%; during the outage, it dropped to 0.86% before bouncing back.

What should we take away from this analysis of what happened? Why aren’t these gaps much larger? Here’s what’s important to remember about Instagram: it serves the planet as a whole, and while the 6-hour outage was notable during hours of operation for timezones like the Americas, it had no material impact in timezones like Asia-Pacific. When we examine Facebook’s investor reports, the vast majority of Facebook’s users come from outside the US and Canada (which are the only two major nations identified). Thus, it’s logical to conclude that the outage didn’t impact most of the planet during operating hours; Europe and Africa were at the end of their workdays, and Asia was just waking up when the outage ended.

Here’s a key insight for your own analytics: if your data claims to be global but you see significant impacts from a regional event, your underlying data source may not be as global as you think. If our influencer and brand lists were too Americas-centric, we would have seen a much larger impact than we did in the data. Be sure to check your own data sources to ensure they’re as representative of the population you claim they portray.

Methodology: Trust Insights extracted data from Facebook’s Crowdtangle software for 2,215,624 posts from 7,731 brands and 1,282,389 posts from 10,436 influencers Instagram accounts. The timeframe of the data is January 1, 2021 – October 9, 2021. The date of study is October 12, 2021. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.

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