Social Media Users Frenzied after Meta Services Blackout

Molly Steele

March 5th saw a worldwide blackout of Meta services lasting around an hour and a half. The affected platforms included Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Whatsapp and Messenger. 

Social media users took to X, formerly Twitter, at 3pm GMT to express their concerns and connect with others who had been affected by the mass outage. X saw the hashtags #facebookdown #instagramdown trending alongside Facebook and Instagram. TikTok was also subjected to an influx of posts regarding the outage with users from New Zealand, the Philippines, and England relaying information about the current situation. Members of the affected platforms, in particular Facebook and Instagram, stated that many of them had been logged out of their accounts and could not sign in again whilst others were unable to load any content or features on the applications. 

Given that there is no designated channel for Meta to communicate with its users during situations such as this, Communications Director Andy Stone released a statement via X to reassure people that the issue was being dealt with by the team. Stone then posted an update stating that a “technical issue” had caused difficulties for users in accessing the Meta services. He said that the tech company resolved the issue as quickly as possible for those impacted and apologised for any inconvenience caused as a result of the blackout.

Following the global outage of these social media platforms many internet users made posts reflecting on the role of sites like Facebook and Instagram in daily life. One user on X stated that the blackout was a “stark reminder of our over-reliance on social media.”…It’s concerning how dependent we’ve become on these platforms.” Another user posted a video on TikTok asking people if a day came where all telecommunications stopped operating as usual, “What would you do? Have you thought about it? What are you and your family going to do?” 

Similarly, users on X who work in the mass communication field found the blackout to be a useful experience. Users asked their audiences what the blackout had taught them as a CEO or Marketer or Accounts Manager et cetera. One user claimed that the Meta blackout should be a signal to diversify presence across platforms as an individual or as a brand. 

Meta’s services have been back up and running smoothly since the blackout. Meta Newsroom thanked users via X for their patience whilst their engineers worked to resolve the issue.  

What did you do during the blackout? If it were to last for a day or a week in the future, how would you spend this time?