If you’re the normal everyday person living in 2015 who avoids all sorts of real human contact, you undoubtedly noticed that something was amiss on the Internet. Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder all simultaneously went offline for exactly 91 minutes. Yes, no “Top 10 Cat Butts That Look Like Buddha” popping up in your News Feed, no photographic proof that your cousin went to Starbucks on your Instagram, and certainly no swiping on women who probably wouldn’t actually sleep with you anyways on Tinder. It’s truly amazing how far humanity has advanced.
Though hacker group “Lizard Squad”, the lovely folks behind the Christmas Day PlayStation Network outage, is claiming responsibility, Facebook is claiming that the problem was caused internally by one of their own engineers. Oh, to be that guy who had to give Mark Zuckerberg a call explaining how he tripped on a wire. The 91 minute outage is the longest outage in the storied history of Facebook (of several short blips over the year), and left desperate users trying to remember their Twitter passwords to have the hashtag #FacebookDown trending Worldwide instantly.
It is rare that websites such as Facebook vanish from the Internet, and with good reason when you consider how much money they lose by even 1 minute of unavailability. When Amazon went offline for a mere 40 minutes in August 2013, it was estimated that they lost out on $4.8 million in sales. That’s a lot of thermal underwear (as of writing on the 27th of January, Amazon’s daily top selling item)! So that got us to wondering, what is the monetary value of 91 minutes of downtime worth to Facebook? Never mind the human capital in engineers who mysteriously disappeared.
According to Facebook’s last quarterly earning statement, in Q4 2014 the company brought in $2.590 billion in the 91 days spanning October 1st, and December 31st. That’s a staggering $28.46 million per day. That means that for every minute that Facebook is offline they lose $19,764, and for every hour Facebook has to do without an additional $1,185,875 added to their coffers. So for 91 minutes of downtime like we saw on January 26th, Facebook missed out on nearly $1.8 million. Of course every company plans for this, so it is unlikely Mark Zuckerberg is cutting back on his billionaire chic wardrobe of hoodies, and jeans due to this unprecedented outage.