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FAQ’s: Navigating the Recent Facebook Outage

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Brittani Hunsaker

October 7, 2021

By Brittani Hunsaker, Vice President of Paid Media

Earlier this week, the entire network of Facebook services went down for several hours, which was the worst outage since 2019. While millions rely on Facebook and their other platforms for daily social interaction, the impact was likely more pronounced for the community of businesses who reply on these platforms. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions marketers may have about the outage:

Q: How are delivery and budgets impacted by this issue?

A: Ads did not deliver across Facebook apps, and advertisers were not billed during the outage. Ads are starting to deliver again, although advertisers may see accelerated delivery as our services recover from the outage. We encourage you to review your bids and budgets to ensure they accurately reflect your marketing goals during this time.


Q: What was the cause of this issue? Was Facebook hacked?


A: We believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. Our engineers determined the
problem originated with a networking issue that interrupted communications between our data centers. With our servers unable to communicate properly, the problems cascaded, causing outages across our systems. You can learn more about what happened on our Facebook Engineering blog.


Q: How will the outage impact appeals and review for ads and commerce listings?


A: Our ad review system relies primarily on automated technology to apply our Advertising Policies to the millions of ads that run across our apps. While our review is largely automated, we rely on our teams to build and train these systems, and in some cases, to manually review ads. Since our systems were down for several hours, you may notice delays in appeals and review for ads and commerce listings.

Q: What is the impact to the Conversions API?

A: Events sent via the Conversions API were not received during the outage. Advertisers can choose to
re-send the events that were not received during the outage if they wish to use these events for ad
optimization, measurement, and website Custom Audiences. Advertisers using a Conversions API partner
integration may want to consult their partners before taking further action, as some partner integrators may
have proactively re-sent events that were not received during the outage.

Q: What is the impact to the Facebook Pixel

A: Events sent via the Facebook Pixel were not received during the outage. As a result, these events have not
been used for ad optimization, measurement, and website Custom Audiences.

Brittani Hunsaker

Author

View bio

Brittani is passionate about data-driven performance marketing, driving innovation and business growth, and empowering individuals to grow and succeed. She loves extracting meaningful insights to drive strategic growth, from diversifying the marketing mix to testing new innovations and alphas/betas.

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