Here’s Where Americans Turned During Facebook’s Global Outage - Social Media Explorer
Here’s Where Americans Turned During Facebook’s Global Outage
Here’s Where Americans Turned During Facebook’s Global Outage


According to App Annie’s new report, Americans used dating, finance, and gaming to pass the time when Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and WhatsApp went dark. This insight provides an insight into where millions of people go to find the best pieces of virtual property when they are suddenly unavailable. 

Key facts

On October 4, Facebook and its family of apps—including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram—went dark for seven hours, with usage in the U.S. falling 50% below normal levels, according to App Annie.    

While many consumers turned to other social media or communications apps to connect with friends and family—Twitter and Telegram captured 2 million more hours in the U.S. during the seven-hour outage than expected—large numbers of Americans turned to apps offering different services entirely.

App Annie data shows that the outage caused a spike in time spent on dating apps, with eHarmony jumping 690% and Scruff 65%, respectively, compared to the average seven-day before.

There was a similar surge of interest in video content—notably beyond usual chart toppers of YouTube and Netflix—with the time spent on Bravo Now and SHOWTIME up 585% and 370%, respectively, from the week before.   

The data shows that investment and cryptocurrency apps also benefitted from the outage. (290%) was followed by CoinGecko (260%) and Webull Stocks (75%) while Robinhood (75%) saw a surge in interest over the previous week.  

Surprising Fact

App Annie reported that the U.S. Facebook usage did not decrease completely. Some users were trying to access the apps repeatedly, which resulted in time being recorded even though the screen was not refreshing. 

Big Number

$65 million That’s about how much Facebook lost during the hours-long outage, according to a SME estimate. Later outages that week brought the total to approximately $100 million. 


Facebook and its apps are consistently at the top of the mobile apps charts for most popular apps. According to the company, the outage was caused by a routine maintenance error that took some of its datacenters offline. It was not a hack. It underscored the heavy reliance on Facebook’s services around the world, particularly for communications and business purposes. Facebook’s rivals did well from the outage, according to Sensor Tower data, with usage on Snapchat jumping 23%, Twitter 11%, and Signal 15%. App Annie said “current trends suggest users are returning to Facebook’s apps due to strong network effects” and existing communication habits. 

Further Reading

Facebook lost more than $100 million through two outages this week (SME).

Facebook Outage Boosted Snapchat, Signal And Telegram—All Saw Usage Surge (SME)

Facebook outage highlights global dependency on its services (Guardian).

About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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